Congratulations to Priya Arunachalam and her team for developing a unique venture that is based on the concept of food as preventive medicine. The team recently won $10,000 in seed funding to develop its business.
The Net Impact Food Solutions Challenge, sponsored by Bayer, challenged the team to create a climate-friendly cold storage supply chain to reduce food loss in Sub-Saharan Africa. Their venture, Cool Thanzi, won the competition and $10,000 in seed funding.
Priya indicated that they designed their business by recognizing food as preventative medicine. By looking at the broader issue of human health, they found that health care costs push about 100 million people into poverty each year and that vaccines can prevent 24 million people in 41 countries from falling into this poverty trap. To help those vaccines reach people in need, their company, Cool Thanzi, harnesses the power of food to deliver community health services to Malawi’s markets where people convene to buy and sell produce. The revolutionary model uses international health care funding to deploy solar-powered recycled refrigerator shipping containers in rural markets. Farmers will store their produce at our facilities to save over 270kg of nutritional produce per day and health care workers will house and administer vaccines for up to 10,000 residents.
Priya’s team solved the problem of food waste and malnutrition by making it bigger. By leveraging the health care network to cover the upfront costs, they propose that they can put a net of $150,000 back into the pockets of smallholder farmers while improving their access to crucial medicine. The Cool Thanzi team is:
- Nickolas Reinke – sustainable agriculture and finance
- Colin Curzi – clean energy and urban systems
- Misha Isran – technology and public health in developing countries
- Priya Arunachalam – health care operations and process improvement