BBA Alumna Competes for $1M Grand Prize in Food Waste Reduction Challenge

Myra Arshad BBA'18
Myra Arshad

Schulich alumni-founded company, ALT TEX has been selected as one of six finalists for the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Food Waste Reduction Challenge. The company’s founder, Myra Arshad (BBA’18) has been a leading member of the Schulich Startups community for several years and has been a speaker and guest lecturer for numerous events and Schulich courses.

In the semi-final round, ALT TEX received $100,000 to build a prototype of their innovative technology. After presenting to the External Review Committee and being shortlisted as a finalist, they will receive $450,000 to test their technology in an operational environment with a partner. This grant will support the scale-up of ALT TEX as they take one of the world’s most abundant waste sources –food – and use it to overturn one of the world’s most polluting industries – fashion.

“​​Canada is one of the top-most food waste-producing countries in the world. We’re extremely grateful for the government’s support through this grant as we work to change that,” said Myra.

The company is now competing to win one of two grand prizes of up to $1 million. Through the Food Waste Reduction Challenge the Government of Canada aims to increase food availability, increase farmers’ revenue, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

ALT TEX has developed a food-to-fabric technology, the first of its kind, which can convert food waste into bioplastic fibre, bridging the performance of synthetic fabrics and the biodegradability of natural fibres. This technology plugs into polyester’s existing system for highly scalable and economical production – enabling replacement of synthetics at scale.

Avneet and Myra in lab