LAC MSc student wins Best Postgraduate Idea competition


2 fique farmers

The Oxford Foundry is an entrepreneurial hub searching for the most innovative ideas from the University of Oxford. It was opened by Tim Cook, CEO at apple, in 2017 and runs a variety of competitions and accelerators to help start-ups reach their full potential.

Last semester the Foundry ran the "All Innovate" competition in search for the most creative and socially impactful ideas from all students across all 33 colleges. After an initial stage, competitors had to present a 2-minute elevator pitch in the quarter finals, followed by another 2-minute elevator pitch in the semifinals. The final round was cut down to 10 teams who had to pitch their ideas to a panel of expert judges.

Gabriel Moreno, a MSc Latin American Studies student, successfully pitched his business Fiquetex, and won the Best Postgraduate Idea award in the final. Fiquetex produces the world's first 100% sustainable, renewable, and biodegradable non-woven textiles made from the Colombian fique plant. He plans to make new eco-friendly fabrics for industry that have a variety of uses, such as packaging, eco-friendly carrier bags, flower wrapping and scouring pads, as well as a durable and affordable leather made entirely from the fique plant and natural rubber latex. Fiquetex plans to use a circular economy process to help reduce pollution and provide employment to rural areas of Colombia.

Fiquetex has received investment and will now be mentored with advice from the Foundry as Gabriel hopes that the company will begin trading in July.

Read more here:

with samples and logo
fiquetex final logo

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