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13 June 2018

UMichigan fund picks Six Foods

Michigan’s student-led Social Venture Fund has backed Six Foods in its bid to convince consumers that crickets are a more sustainable alternative to conventional meats.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

Six Foods, a US-based sustainable food producer, received an undisclosed sum of funding today from University of Michigan’s student-led impact investment vehicle Social Venture Fund.

Founded in 2013, Six Foods sells food products made from crickets. Its flagship product, Chirp Chips, is marketed as a palatable, nutritious and environmentally sustainable snack.

The funding will allow Six Foods to recruit a sales director and build out its advocacy training program for students on food systems and sustainability.

Social Venture Fund will appoint an observer to Six Foods’ board of directors and provide access to a team that can consult on projects benefitting the business.

Six Foods was co-founded by Rose Wang, a former young partner at investment firm Defiance Capital, together with Laura D’Asaro, who is also an international coordinator for Kenya-based non-profit education provider Wema Children’s Centre.

Six Foods secured $100,000 in funding from angel investor Mark Cuban in January 2017 through the US reality TV show Shark Tank.

The company previously received an undisclosed amount of capital when it graduated from the MassChallenge accelerator in 2015. It had raised approximately $70,500 in a crowdfunding campaign the previous year.

Luke Sawitsky, an MBA candidate at Michigan specialising in sustainable food who was in charge of due diligence for the investment, said: “As a carnivore, I did not realise the impact eating has on the environment.

“We were impressed with how Six Foods saw themselves fitting into the food of the future, and the depth of thought in their short-term and long-term strategies. In the course of evaluating this deal, we gained every confidence that Six Foods will create and own their category.”

Social Venture Fund was founded in 2009 and is managed by almost 40 MBA and BBA students located at the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

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