It seems the big bugs news just keeps getting better! I’m excited to share this announcement with Bugible readers:
[PRESS RELEASE July 13, 2018] – Austin, TX – Little Herds, the Austin-based entomophagy (bug-eating) education nonprofit, will launch Ento-Prize, a pitch challenge for entrepreneurs with insect-driven ideas, announced founder and Director Robert Nathan Allen today. Winners will receive industry-specific mentorship, specialized services and a to-be-determined amount of prize money to help fund their idea.
“Through our collaboration with GrubTubs, we’ve shown we can leverage our network of resources to help a startup in our community secure the investment needed for job-creating infrastructure,” said Allen. “We know dozens of insect-related startups that have successfully gone through pitch challenges, incubators and accelerators, so now it makes perfect sense to start something specifically to help the next generation of insect entrepreneurs.”
Little Herds decided to launch the competition after a successful year-long collaboration with GrubTubs, a sustainable agriculture startup that uses insect-farming technology to upcycle food waste into livestock feed. In 2016, Allen co-founded GrubTubs with inventor Robert Olivier to pilot the concept in Austin, after garnering support and advice from Austin Resource Recovery, the city’s waste management department. The idea fit with Austin’s Zero Waste 2040 policy, which includes an organics diversion program designed to curb wasted food from going into the landfill. In their first year, Allen and Olivier won the City of Austin’s ReVersePitch Challenge and were accepted into the Tarmac TX Accelerator. GrubTubs’ list of restaurant clients now includes fast-casual concepts, high-dining spots and large corporate cafeterias; and they recently won the SXSW Accelerator 2018 Award.
“We’re incredibly grateful for the support we received from Little Herds during our first year in business and are thrilled to hear that another startup will be given the same helping hand,” said Olivier, founder and CEO of GrubTubs.
#EntoPrize will be open to a wide range of ideas, as long as they’re related to Insect Agriculture, and is especially encouraging under-represented founders to apply. Students and entrepreneurs around the world will be able to apply for free, and Ento-Prize won’t take equity from the startups supported. Little Herds is already getting guidance and advice from other pitch challenge veterans, including local challenge Food+City, and plans to begin accepting applications for #EntoPrize in early 2019.
Make sure to check it out!