Observatory of Green Businesses
NOT LIKE THE OTHERS.
Some people consider us crazy. And to be honest: We are.
Our young startup from Germany designs delicious, healthy and sustainable food – made of insects. What started with an ambitious dinner in Southeast Asia on a world trip, became an EU-funded enterprise with insect-based products on the Belgian and Dutch market.
Don’t miss the chance: Try our burger and you will love it.
In 2014 the young company BugFoundation decided to develop food from insects. BugFoundation wanted to sale it in Europe. Insects have - in contrast to meat - ecological advantages. They are more healthier and tastefully. The founders refined the recipe of "BuxBurger" in cooperation with "Deutsches Institut für Lebensmitteltechnik". In July 2015 the team celebrated their market entrance in Belgium
Size of business
- 6 employees (incl. 2 founders)
- Only a few financial reserves
- Programs for founding a business in the green sector
- Social network
Opportunities and plans for the future
BugFoundation does not have direct plans for the future (Answer from Mr. Özel: "We will see!")
Pitfalls and challenges
1. How did the project come to life?
My friend and business partner Max Krämer and I did a world trip for one year. One stage was South
Asia. There some people asked us: “Would you like to try some fried crickets?“ Because of the pleasant smell we tasted it. Back in Germany Max wrote his final assignment with the topic "insects as food". One result was that insects have - in contrast to meat - ecological and constitutional advantages. Hence we asked us if we can combine the amazing Asian taste to the European taste. Few experiments later we decided to start with our first product.
2. If you found the company again, what would you do exactly and what would you do differently?
Basically we would do all things again. We developed our company with our own energy, without any financial reserves and cooked with food from our fridge. Hence we think about every step very intensively because of our limited resources. The outcome of this was the very focused work, less mistakes and a continuous growth.
3. Are there any difficulties regarding the foundation?
None who are known. There is a lot of support, for example programs for supporting a foundation in the green sector (Databases for development).
4. What were the biggest challenges in regard of the foundation?
The biggest challenge was the small insect industry. At the beginning laws prevented to sale insects as food. Moreover, another challenge was to find a big producer abroad, because the production of insects in Germany will be only allowed from 2018 . Moreover the producer should be ready to work with a start up and to include insects in their production. For us it was very important to find a big producer because we want to avoid problems with expansion of volume.
5. Did you have positive or negative incidences which motivated you?
At the beginning we had a good feeling in regard to our business. We were totally convinced and we already dedicated to start this company and still are. But the negative aspect were the problems with the law. To develop our business we were forced to produce in foreign countries. The advantage on big challenges is the good feeling which follows when you overcome them. This aspect motivates and strengthens us.
Pictures by courtesy of BugFoundation.
49090 Osnabrück, Germany