Success Story: Botaneco Inc.

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Opening Doors and Forging Relationships

“The Bio-Industrial Opportunities Section is a trusted partner that takes a genuine interest in helping corporations to advance in every aspect; from providing financial opportunities, to business development to automation and technology. Overall, a comprehensive approach to working together.”
— James Szarko, President & CEO
Botaneco Inc.

Botaneco Inc., a Calgary based agri-innovation company, develops, manufactures and markets natural ingredients for personal care applications and other markets. In 2012, a new team from Concept Capital Management Inc. (operating as Botaneco) amalgamated intellectual property, commercially viable assets and key people with the knowledge and experience to advance their patented, performance-based oilseed technology.

Botaneco’s seasoned management team had already been working with a sophisticated set of advisors when they had an opportunity to meet with members of the Bio-Industrial Opportunities Section (BIO Section) of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF). They were unsure what the BIO Section team could add to this solid set of core capabilities but they took the meeting anyway — and are glad they did. The team’s approach to consultation turned out to be comprehensive rather than selective, covering areas of financial support, business development and relationship building.

The BIO Section team was instrumental in identifying potential funding sources that would aid in the success of Botaneco’s venture. Botaneco took novel oilseed technology, first developed in Alberta at the University of Calgary over a decade ago, along with substantial capital investment and a long-term vision to create innovative, value-added oilseed products. This cutting-edge thinking made Botaneco eligible for the Growing Forward AgriInnovation Program, a federal government matching grant program.

Botaneco was also able to access Alberta’s Growing Forward program, which provides matching grants to companies for market and product development and automation projects. Botaneco was thrilled with the investment the Alberta government was willing to make in the bio-industrial sector. This proved to be beneficial to the company’s aggressive growth strategy. Discovering AF's Workforce Productivity Improvement Grant, another cost-shared program, was timely and exactly what Botaneco needed to support its vision for a locally established world-class manufacturing facility.

Botaneco’s unique patented oilseed processing platform technology, based around novel separation and purification techniques, enables the recovery of high-quality proteins and oleosomes. These unique purified extracts can then be used to improve the natural authenticity and performance of personal care, food and feed products. With this as a mandate, Botaneco strives to continually improve its technology processes. Once again, the BIO Section team linked them with an opportunity that may otherwise have gone unnoticed. Botaneco’s manufacturing lead was invited to an AF trade mission to Ontario that sponsored and supported participant visits to several different world-class manufacturing plants. This trade mission showcased diverse approaches to manufacturing, created links to large global corporations and shared insights and guidelines for better practices and procedures.

Through their relationship with the BIO Section team, Botaneco has gained access to an invaluable network of key industry players and experienced a progressive approach to business development. Because the BIO Section team members are so well connected and respected, they were able to entice large well-known credible businesses, from around the globe, to participate in local forums and conferences. Many of these companies were perceived as inaccessible, but the BIO Section team opened doors and facilitated introductions for potential collaboration opportunities. These new-found relationships helped Botaneco to move forward quickly and with greater efficiency. This trusted relationship with the BIO Section resulted in inclusion on an industry advisory group comprised of senior executives that serves to provide strategic advice to help shape the Alberta specialty chemical ingredient industry as it grows.

The BIO Section team has become an integral part of Botaneco’s network and a partner in the truest sense of the word. The BIO Section team continuously presents information regarding new initiatives, foster industry relationships to facilitate appropriate introductions with a goal of advancing the bioeconomy in Alberta. To them, success of the industry means success for the client and, as a result, success for the BIO Section team.

Alberta Agriculture & Forestry
Bio-Industrial Opportunities Section
Agri-Food Discovery Place
Building F-83, 6020 – 118 Street
Edmonton Alberta T6G 2E1
Phone: (780) 644-8118

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Victor Cheng.
This information published to the web on February 2, 2015.
Last Reviewed/Revised on January 31, 2018.