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Food & Agriculture Innovators

Mike Betts from the Food & Agriculture Innovators Podcast and formerly Director of Investments at AgFunder sits down to interview entrepreneurs and investors from around the world building technology innovation to sustainably and profitably improve the global food system. Discover untold stories about how companies have been built, technologies on the horizon, where investors are seeing opportunities, and the challenges and opportunities abundant today as we work to feed the growing population.

Aug 24, 2017

Jason Drew is the Co-founder and CEO of AgriProtein based in Cape Town, South Africa. In the interview we go back to the early years and career of Jason, how he got started on his path to farming flies, the business of AgriProtein that’s raised nearly $30 million dollars of venture capital, the art of building your company into the “Sustainability Revolution”, recent growth plans announced to scale farming of insects globally, and more.

Get the full show notes here.

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In this show, we cover: 

  • [1:52] What drove Jason to write a book about flies
  • [4:31] Early career before AgriProtein as executive under Jack Welch at GE, turnaround CEO and entrepreneur
  • [8:12] What sparked his interest in sustainability, the birth of “environmental capitalist”
  • [10:40] What would Jack Welch say if he told him the lack of sustainability would hurt his business
  • [12:52] Why farm insects? And the market potential and need in aquaculture
  • [17:43] Deep dive on insects as fishmeal replacement for aquaculture and waste recycling
  • [22:13] Fundraising for insect farming part 1: overview
  • [29:05] Fundraising for insect farming part 2: from earliest stage to scaling
  • [32:39] R&D, genetics and breeding in insect farming
  • [37:23] Scaling up insect farming
  • [42:45] Attracting talent to scale insect farming globally
  • [47:44] Fundraising for insect farming part 3: getting first capital in the business and acquiring growth capital
  • [52:53] Fundraising for insect farming part 4: AgriProtein’s first investors came to them
  • [56:26] Africa leapfrogging industrial revolution into sustainability revolution
  • [1:01:40] Biggest challenges and opportunities looking forward
  • [1:04:30] Advice for entrepreneurs