<!DOCTYPE html> Project IGem Ecuador


Integrated Human Practices




Education & Public Engagement




Sustainable Development Impact




In Ecuador, entrepreneurship of projects and companies is very limited due to the lack of investment in science and research. However, the iGEM Ecuador Team presented Agrobactory 593 in the ESPE University program "Pre-incubation of business ESPE 2020". Here, we were able to develop a solid value proposition and a sustainable business model, thanks to consulting experts in entrepreneurship.

We defined the customer segment as large banana producers in Ecuador. We fulfilled 100% of the KPI'S proposed, which consisted on market validation with the business model, development and evaluation of the Pitch for potential investors and validation of the initial prototype with the target customer. Our business idea was qualified as a project with High potential of innovation. This lead us to become one of the Best teams qualified by the General Coordination of Entrepreneurship and Innovation because we meet all the objectives that were set out in the pre-incubation process. We had 100% of the scope.

In addition, we validated with certainty the target customer and managed to obtain a tangible initial prototype. We also received institutional recognition for our high academic level, commitment and dedication.


Market Research example

Statistics Factors
90% 1,645
N 34
n 30
d 5%
Confident level Coefficient Z
99% 2,575
95% 1,96
Population Variance
p 0,5
q 0,5
Market Segment
Market segment Big producers of Banana crops
Number of Banana Companies 464
Number of big Banana companies 34
Sample 30

In Ecuador according to the records of the Superintendencia de Compañías Valores y Seguros. There are 464 companies engaged in banana cultivation. The ESPE 2020 business pre-incubation program had the objective of advising projects with high innovative potential for their future development. It focused on entrepreneurial training, technical and business accompaniment managed by the team of the “Coordinación General de Emprendimiento e Innovación de la Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas ESPE” to bring Agrobactory 593 closer to the next incubation process for its implementation in the market, through the “Agencia de Desarrollo Económico CONQUITO” and other allies.

The validation of the project was based on three main KPI's: i) validation of the business model, ii) development of the Pitch for financing, iii) development and validation of the prototype. All of the aforementioned KPI's achieved 100% progress.

In the development of the business model for Agrobactory 593, we determined the value proposition using the Value Proposition Canvas (VPC) matrix. We determined the target customer using market research tools. Once we defined our customer segment, we proposed the first business model using the Canvas matrix. As a result of the advice provided by experts, several iterations of the business model were carried out until the final sustainable model was achieved.

Customer Segment and Value Proposition Canvas

Value Proposition Canvas

The market study allowed us to determine how many companies would be direct beneficiaries of the implementation of the project within their facilities, and also allowed us to obtain information on banana diseases, pest control and diagnosis, FOC R4T, and current prevention protocols. There are 464 banana growing companies in the country, which were organized in a database with information on location, telephone numbers, mailing address and authority in charge. We show the result of the monitoring of all the agricultural institutions.

We contacted 16 companies, 3 of which agreed to be interviewed. Two of them correspond to large traditional producers interested in maintaining their position as major exporters, so they take actions to keep their product high quality and free of diseases. On the other hand, the third company corresponds to a large organic producer characterized by maintaining good production practices to ensure that their products have all the certifications required to increase demand.

The following are the results obtained from the interviews conducted:

  Company 1 Company 2 Company 3
Preliminary diseases Black zigatoka Weevil virosis, Zigatoka and boll weevil
Pest control Pesticides Organic products Pesticides, organic products
Pest diagnosis Weekly with an evaluation team Periodic diagnosis with a plant engineer who monitors together with the farm owner Every 15 days visual tests. A leaf is cut and see how often the spraying should be done
Know about Panama disease Yes, they have a risk assesment team Yes, the majority of the information is avaliable on the Internet Yes, and in some product that serves as a fungus repellent effect
How serious do you consider FOCTR4 infectios in your plantations? very serious because the replanting time is very long and the economic loss would be very high  very serious since Ecuador lives from agriculture. There would be many cases of unemployment very serious since we irrigate the plantations with water from the river and the prevention protocols would be useless
What do you think would be the ideal management to face FOCTR4? Early detection to prevent it from entering the country Early detection A product that serves to control the fungus
Current protocols for prevention against FOCTR4 Mantains desinfection protocols for everyone who enters the farm. Equipment and clothing Desinfection protocols for everyone Desinfection of all personal before entering the farm with lime and vehicles desinfection.
Procedure in case of infection Isolation and elimination of affected area, report to the authorities Isolation and elimination of affected area, report to the authorities Isolation and elimination of affected area, report to the authorities

For the validation of the proposed solution, we created a video with information on the main effects that FOC R4T could produce in banana plantations, the large economic losses, failure to deliver production, and failure in replanting. In addition, Agrobactory 593 is presented as a solution and its ease of use and benefits are reported. The results obtained are shown in the following diagram according to the interviews of the participants.

We attended a master mentoring session on the presentation of the final Pitch for entrepreneurship by CONQUITO, in which we were taught the basic tools to prepare a pitch. The pitch covered the following points: Problem, solution (value proposition), budget, target market, channels and final closing. Finally, we received feedback from ESPE-innovativa, CONQUITO, representatives of incubators in the country and representatives of banana associations.


Event Date: Thursday, April 25th, 2021


MIPRO Representative Rodrigo Granda
Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias Delegate, Experimental Station Santa Catalina Dr. Ochoa
Asociación de plataneras en Sto. Domingo Plantation Owner Eng. Santiago Ulloa
Federación Nacional de Productores de Plátano del Ecuador Specialist in Phytopathogens Eng. Fabián Espinoza
INNOBIS Enterprise Coordinator Melissa Salazar
BANANA EXPORT BANANAEXPORT Media Manager Dr. Victor Hugo Quimi
ACORBANEC Executive director Richard Salazar

Andrés Cueva

Specialist in Innovation

and Entrepreneurship at 


Sofía González 

Analyst of entrepreneurship 

and innovation 



Juan Pablo Espinoza 

Company builder

E commerce Innovation 


Productive and socioeconomic 

development of Quito


Pitch Review

Business Model Review

AGROSCAN Mentoring 



Business Model

Value Proposition Canvas

Buyer person 




Mentoring in Innovatie

businnes models  


Pitch presentation 

Market validation workshop 


          Gabriel Bermeo 

Coordinator of Innovation

and Technology Transfer - Universidad

San Francisco de Quito 

Alexis Vela  

Biosafety specialist in the Ministry of Environment 

Jhony Villacis  

Entrepreneur and founder of Agroscan 

Kleber Villa 

Intellectual Property Expert. 

Feedback: Simulation and Pitch Presentation 


Risk assessment analysis for biotechnology products 



Business models for technological devices 



Project review to identify intellectual property issues that may be applicable.


Roberto Jiménez   

Rector of the  Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas ESPE 

Wilson Merino 

General manager of CONQUITO 


Recognition for effort and dedication and for having successfully completed the pre-incubation process.  


Recognition and awarding of the grant to execute the business model through Conquito's advisory services


We were awarded recognition by the university for our outstanding performance in pre-incubation. The document indicates that the members of our team have demonstrated a high level of commitment and dedication, in each of the activities established in the program, referring to: entrepreneurial training, mentoring, consulting and validation experiments in the market. Attached is the acknowledgment.

Recognition for high academic level, commitment and dedication otorged by ESPE University

After completing the pre-incubation process, due to the work carried out, we were awarded a grant by “Agencia de Promoción Económica CONQUITO” that is a private, non-profit corporation that works for sustainability, innovation, science and technology, promoting projects for the generation of entrepreneurship, business development, inclusive business linkages and productive chains that contribute to the transformation of Quito into a more inclusive, innovative, diverse and forward-looking city. The grant has a duration of 3 months and its objective is to implement the business model developed in the pre-incubation program.