I Don't Like Crickets, I Love 'Em

Entocube is a startup attempting to revolutionise the food industry with their edible insect farms. I spoke to cofounder Yichen Wu over breakfast in Tallinn.

How on earth did you come to this idea?

The ideas actually quite simple, [my co-founder] used to be an astronaut candidate. If you think about one of the biggest challenges in deep space travel, you want to send people to mars but you cant give them enough food for two years, it makes no sense. So, what do you do? You need to have your production up there. You obviously cannot produce carbs up there, so you need to have the most efficient way of producing animal protein, thats where the EntoCube comes in.

When is it going to space?

NASA has a project that they're actively working on right now. So this thing is a lot more mainstream that you think really.

Entocube. Photo: Company website

If you look at it you do think it’s a joke, sorry. So, how many paying clients do you have?

This company is less than 6 months old, so zero, and were closing sales. We just sold a box to Africa, to someone in Uganda, we’ re closing a deal in Zambia, talking with some Americans [about a deal]. We’re going to Vietnam next month and have a couple of orders here in Finland.

Do you ask for the motives of the buyers?

We do because this is a market that is in formation, so a lot of times we need to be more vertically integrated, and we need to be market makers. So when people come to us we need to ask them, ‘Do you have a downstream buyer?’ If they don’t have one, then I’ll hook them up with one, because there’s more demand than supply right now.

Cricket. Photo: From file

So how do they grow their next generation?

In 35 days we get the pre-adults, thats when we take them for eating and then we save a certain percentage, those give us eggs for the next stage. It goes full circle from there.

So, from all of us at Hybe, Bon Appetit!