Andrew Logan has what every manufacturer craves: an endless source of free raw materials that his suppliers can't wait to dump and a market starving for his product.
Logan, a biologist in Idaho Springs, Colo., turns waste from breweries into a fish-food ingredient. His company, Oberon FMR, spent a decade refining a proprietary mixture of microbes trained to eat food-based wastewater. When dried, the bacteria become high-protein flakes for the booming $100 billion aquaculture industry.
"The opportunity is massive," says Logan, 38.
His suppliers agree. By law, breweries and foodmakers must find safe removal solutions for wastewater; hauling it away and composting it (or, in winter, storing it) can cost up to $3 million a year. Now Oberon takes it off companies' hands for free. With 65 million tons of seafood farmed for human consumption annually, fish farms are growing by an average of 9% a year and need a new kind of premium feed.