Colombia-based Ecoflora, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Nicolás Cock Duque, was recently profiled in a case study by the World Intellectual Property Organization, a global forum for IP services, policy and cooperation, created as part of the United Nations and including more than 180 member states. The group’s mission is to lead the development of an international intellectual property system that enables and protects innovation and creativity rights. Ecoflora’s patent and trademark progress in the biotechnology space caught WIPO’s attention, leading to an in-depth study on how the company leverages its assets, fosters private-public sector collaboration, and pioneered an industry in an unexpected market.
A biotech and natural products company that provides a range of alternative ingredients for use in agriculture, food and personal care products, Ecoflora has transformed the region’s industry and demonstrated potential for high-impact, global growth. With over 15 products and 30 applications developed over the past decade, Ecoflora is a testament to the potential of emerging markets to drive innovation despite challenging economic factors, having already filed for nearly a dozen patents on an international scale.
Originally a family-owned flower business established in 1998, Ecoflora presented Nicolás – a civil engineer by trade – with the opportunity to develop commercial and sustainable products for the horticultural industry. By 2012, the company had over 15 major products in its portfolio, ranging from EdiBlue, a food and beverage colorant, to Myrica Waxm, a berry extract that can be used as a base in cosmetics and soaps. Having struck partnerships with universities, government institutions and laboratories to develop its products and promote agricultural research, Ecoflora is uniquely positioned to bridge barriers to scale in the region and take its niche market to a global stage.
Now with over 40 employees in his Medellin headquarters alone and over 20 R&D laboratories in his network, Nicolás has demonstrated how access to mentorship, capital and talent can enable emerging market entrepreneurs to become high-impact leaders. Since being selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur in 2007, Nicolás has been an active network member, receiving local publicity support and mentorship while also participating in the eMBA and G-Lab programs, the 2013 Endeavor Summit, and more.
“Endeavor helped us refine our global strategy and business model as well as understand our opportunities for scale,” Nicolás said in an interview. “With our intellectual property in particular, Endeavor mentors offered invaluable advice that will help guide our international expansion strategy and show that Colombia is a cradle of sustainable innovation and talent.”
Read the entire WIPO case study by clicking here.