Sustainable protein from crickets can reshape the future of food

Sustainable protein from crickets can reshape the future of food

By 2050, the world population will be at 9 billion, with a large concentration in the Mekong region. Traditional livestock farming cannot serve the estimated protein shortage of more than 60 million tons in 2025. Land and water resources are shrinking, creating a need for a new, sustainable protein source.  

Enter Cricket One, a Vietnam-based startup that is farming sustainably and drying crickets for protein. Using shipping containers integrated with their technology, crickets are bred in towers and monitored on a cloud-based system. Under these conditions, dried crickets are organic, 70% protein, and contain all essential amino acids.  The finished products are whole crickets and cricket flour.  

In addition, Cricket One is addressing the problem of farmer livelihood. Containers are leased out to farmers, enabling them to use their agricultural by-products. Farmers can improve their income and integrate best practices in agritech.  

Cricket One took first place at the MATCh Demo Day in Hanoi, Viet Nam. MATCh will continue to support this startup through mentorship, investment opportunities, and access to stakeholder networks.  

MATCh is a program of the Mekong Business Initiative, a development partnership sponsored by the Australian Government and the Asian Development Bank.  

Simpler access to finance for SMEs in Myanmar

Simpler access to finance for SMEs in Myanmar

Access to finance and the lack of digitization hold back businesses in Myanmar from reaching their full potential. Traditional banks view small to medium enterprises(SMEs) as high risk and lending fees are high. In addition, tracking daily transactions on paper widens the margins of error. 

Breaking this cycle is KIU Myanmar, a platform helping SMEs digitize their daily operations, plan their fiscal resources, and access credit and markets. The tools are flexible, affordable, and multilingual, keeping them in reach for interested SMEs in Myanmar. 

Their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software helps businesses manage their operations and employees. SMEs can keep more accurate, efficient records, helping them build a tangible credit history. The B2B marketplace component gives online presence to SMEs and allows them to buy and sell goods with integrated shipping.  

KIU Myanmar took second place at the MATCh Demo Day in Hanoi, Viet Nam. KIU Myanmar is working to help farmers access credit and improve overall operations. MATCh will continue to support this startup with mentorship, investment opportunities, and access to stakeholder networks. 

MATCh is a program of the Mekong Business Initiative, a program sponsored by the Australian Government and the Asian Development Bank.  

 

Mekong Agritech Challenge Announces Winners

Mekong Agritech Challenge Announces Winners

Six startup teams have won the 2018 Mekong Agritech Challenge (MATCh), having presented outstanding technology solutions with high potential to advance agriculture in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). Prizes ranged from $2,000-$5,000 USD equivalent. Winners also receive ongoing mentorship and training and will compete in the Singapore-based Future Food Asia Award Competition.

22 teams visited Ha Noi to pitch their technologies and solutions to a panel of industry experts and investors. Teams hailed from Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar, and Viet Nam as well as Australia, China, India, Israel, the Netherlands, and Thailand. Teams also participated in business matching, one-on-one meeting with mentors, and farm tours.

Prizes were divided between three early stage startups from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam, and three more mature teams originating from outside the region:

First Prize

  • Cricket One (Viet Nam) – sustainable and affordable protein product from crickets.
  • AgUnity (Australia) – a blockchain platform that helps farmers share resources.

Second Prize

  • KIU Global (Regional in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Viet Nam) – a financial technology solution offering agricultural businesses access to credit.
  • Verifik8 (Thailand) – software that connects producers and buyers and helps improve performance in the agrifood supply chain

Third Prize

  • TunYat (Myanmar) – a rental solution that gives smallholder farmers access to larger machinery.
  • Enzootic, Ltd. (Israel and Hong Kong, the People’s Republic of China) – a cell transplantation technology for shrimp farming that yields all female shrimp producing more product with less losses.

“Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam all share deep agrarian legacies, and while these economies are diversifying, agriculture still has so much to offer as an engine of economic growth” commented Connor McGuinness, Regional Program Manager, Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The Mekong Business Initiative, Future Food Asia, and the GMS Core Agriculture Support Program co-organized MATCh with funding and support from the Australian Government and the Asian Development Bank. MATCh supports startups in agriculture to develop products, network and learn from industry players, showcase their solutions, and access markets and funding. It is aimed at agritech and traditional agriculture businesses with innovative and scalable solutions for Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam. The Challenge has tracks for businesses from inside and outside the Greater Mekong Subregion. MATCh will be powered by the MATCh Alliance, consisting of key regional and local players in the agribusiness innovation ecosystem.

Tips and Tricks for a Winning Pitch Deck

Your pitch deck is your first chance to impress.

Applying to the MIST accelerators?

You know your business idea in and out. Its goals, its projected growth, its user problems – you eat, sleep, and breathe your business. You know that with the right advice, support and investment, you can grow and scale. But how can you convince an investor that your business idea is something even worth their time?

By preparing a stunning pitch deck.  

Your pitch deck is your first chance to impress. It clearly outlines exactly what you’re about, the problem you’re trying to solve, and your market. It shows everyone that you’re a serious, savvy entrepreneur and not just another person with a great idea.

Want to create the best possible pitch deck? Check out these links for expert advice:

Why: 

Lessons from a Study of Perfect Pitch Decks

Writing:  

Writing a Great Pitch Deck

How To Write a Winning Pitch Deck

Visuals: 

10 Presentation Design Tips for the Best Pitch Deck

How to Design a Pitch Deck: Lessons from a Seasoned Founder

Examples: 

The Best Pitch Decks

What You Can Learn from these Pitch Decks

 

Top Things Investors Are Looking For When Pitching

When you’ve only got 11 slides to show all that you’ve got in front of seasoned investors, each slide needs to have just the right information – nothing more, nothing less. These are the 11 things MIST investors want to see:

  1. Vision – What is your company’s mission? What’re you looking to do? Can you say that in 1-2 sentences?
  2.  Problem – Clearly define the problem or need that you’re trying to solve.
  3. Solution – What is your solution and why is your company in a unique position to provide it?
  4. Market – Define your target market. What is the total size of the addressable market?
  5. Revenue Model – How will you make money? What are your revenue streams and how will you price your solution?
  6. Jobs & Community Impact – How will your solution create jobs? How many? And how will it generate positive community impact in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and/or Vietnam?
  7. Competition- Where is your company positioned in the marketplace? Who are your main or potential competitors? How are you different, and what’re your relative strengths and weaknesses?
  8. Marketing Strategy – What’re the main strategies and marketing channels that you will use to find and win customers
  9. Timeline  – State your past activities and achievements, along with future plans.
  10. Team – Highlight key team members, their functions, expertise, and education.
  11. Financials  – Show 3-5 years of financial projections, including turnover, margins, and profitability.

For more resources, find here: 

12 KPIs You Must Know Before Pitching Your Startup

The 7 Elements Investors Look For in Your Pitch

How to Pitch to Investors in 10 minutes and Get Funded