A short drive southeast of Rome, four young entrepreneurs are paving the way to a greener dining scene in the Italian capital – with the help of 400 koi fish. That’s because the group of friends-turned-business owners are the founders of The Circle Food & Energy Solutions, a farm designed to produce food and energy in the most sustainable and competitive way: through aquaponics.
“We began with the idea to resolve concrete problems of scarcity like the lack of land, water and food,” says Thomas Marino, co-founder and director of marketing for The Circle. The farm, in fact, strives to create a positive impact through innovation. “We wanted to use any waste to fuel our production,” he adds.
The four founders of The Circle – Valerio Ciotola, Simone Cofini, Lorenzo Garreffa and Thomas Marino – graduated with degrees in biotechnology, political science and marketing, making them perfectly poised to develop a sustainable agricultural business and communicate its advantages. And at only 27-years-old, they’ve managed to do what many Italians can’t: thrive in an environment notoriously difficult for entrepreneurs.