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Sugar Substitute Startup Xilinat Wins Chivas Venture Award in Amsterdam

A Mexican startup that transforms corn waste into a low-calorie sugar substitute has won the big prize at the Next Web Conference in Amsterdam.

AgTech company Xilinat beat 20 competitors from around the world to win the Chivas Venture Award and, with it, $350,000.

Sugar with a Social Conscience

Young founder Javier Larragoiti is creating a sugar substitute that he hopes will have social benefits both in his homeland Mexico and around the world.

Xilinat’s are producing a biotechnological, natural and patented process that transforms agricultural waste into a sugar substitute. They do this through their waste management solution. This process is beneficial on multiple fronts. Firstly, the Xilinat product provides a healthy alternative to natural sugar, thus combating issues such as obesity and diabetes. On top of this, it also improves the economy in the agricultural field, and avoids the burning of waste.

Thanks to the $350,000 prize money, the startup wants to scale-up the process from lab to pilot plant. “We are currently in the scale-up stage, that’s why we needed the funds. We are still doing things on a lab scale, but with the money we will actually be able to go all the way to having our first production plant,” Javier told us in our weekly show Startups Weekly.

A recent addition to the team, George moved to Berlin from the UK and is keen to explore all that the startup world has to offer. Still a student back home in England, George studies translation and interpreting in French and German, and plans to bring some of his linguistic skills to our writing team. In his free time, he loves to travel and see new cities, as well as watch and play a lot of sport.

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