Startup Battlefield Mena 2018: Naturansa (Finalist)


– 1.4 billion tons of food
is wasted every year– 40% before it’s
touched human hands. Human population
is rising rapidly. And local food, especially
protein, is a massive problem. So I thought if somehow we can
convert pre-consumer food waste into protein, we can
offer a sustainable solution for both problems. As a biologist, I found a
way and created Naturansa. Naturansa produces the
next generation protein from a specific edible
insect, by converting food waste into fertilizer. We begin by placing the
insect in a specially designed hatchery that provides
the optimal egg production. Then we place to ground food
waste and insect eggs together in another specially
designed incubator that accelerates the insect
growth and food decomposition. Then the output is filtered. Insects and the compost
food are now fertilizer, and the fertilizer
is ready for market. And we dry and grind the
insect into protein powder, which is ready for consumption. This technology makes our
revenue model revolutionary. Companies pay us to get
rid of their food waste. So we get revenue by
taking our raw material and by selling our
insect based protein powder and the fertilizer. In our production system is
exponentially more efficient than any protein sources. It needs minimal water and land. It requires zero
grain, and almost produces zero carbon emission. Our product has two
times more protein, 100 times more calcium, and
four times more phosphorus than regular meat. Since the same protein sources
are used for pets and humans, it’s a $70 billion market,
and easy to access due to low regulations. We launched our
first product in May for reptile, fish, and bird. We have over 100
customers, and our revenue is doubling every month. To grow our B to C customers,
we work with influencers. And we also have pet shops
as are B to B partners. But our big vision
is producing much healthier, and more sustainable
protein sources for humans. Though Western countries
are slow to adopt, there are over 2 billion
people in the world already eat insect. By last year in Europe,
edible insect became legal. Because everybody is
more aware of the fact that we need alternative
protein source. There are other
alternatives, but they are cost prohibitively expensive
to compare with regular meat. Like, plant based protein
is resource intensive. It fails to provide
enough nutrients. Artificial meat is in pre-market
stage, and not scalable yet. There are crickets. But because of
their length of life cycle and also a limited diet,
they are especially costly. Our revenue model
is revolutionary, and our product advantage
is, but also our roadmap is. There is $90 billion market,
which is rich in protein. In just the protein
supplement market in the US alone, is $20 billion. And the fact that there
is no need for FDA, it’s an easy market
to start with. So we first target three
initial customer segments. One is athletes, who
already use whey protein additional to their diet. And there are renal and
cancer patients– they cannot digest regular meat. And so they need
other alternatives. And there are many
people who are allergic to regular meat, cannot
consume diet products, as well. So they need alternatives. This started two years ago
with 100 [INAUDIBLE] grant. And we were accepted
by UC Berkeley Growth Circuit accelerated program. And I personally graduated
from Draper University program. We have an office
in San Francisco, as well, thanks to our
present investment. And the most exciting
part, is Draper is now building a
biotech lab for us to build our first prototype. We are expanding our production
line in Turkey, to export it to United States and Europe. Our team consists of
scientists and engineers from different fields,
but with the same vision of making Naturansa the leader
of alternative protein food market. We have advisors, both from
Turkey and the United States, including dietitians
and doctors. Our results are tested
by certified labs. The protein powder, tested. And then our results– also approved by biotech
engineers, food engineers, and the species that we produce
is approved as edible by FAO. So join [INAUDIBLE] to suspend
the growing world population. Thank you. You can start with the cookies
that is made of protein powder. – OK. So judges– before we
get to the questions, does anyone want to try it out? You’re not required. – I don’t mind. – Thank you. These are also
made of just fruit. So if you have any– – Fruits and dates. – –intolerance of
gluten or something– – How very practical to make. – Thank you. – If you like gluten free,
the fruits and dates. – These are judges who take
their jobs very seriously. This is good. – It’s bugs. – Only fruits, these ones. – Let me try it. – All right. Ziad, what do you think? How does it taste? – Very, very good.
– They left the best for you. – Sure.
I’ll take it. – Honestly, one of the
best cookies I’ve had. – Wow, OK. – One of the best? – Thank you. – Taste test is done. Let’s launch into questions. – It tastes good, though. – Unless you had an
additional thought. – Yeah. No, it tastes quite well. Just have a question. Is it all right I
have a question? – Please. – So obviously
your main challenge is you’re going not
only as a startup, but you want to change
the perception of insects apart from specific
countries or regions. It’s not wildly common
in Europe or the US. So what do you expect to be
the main challenge in terms of marketing to an audience that
is inherently at first going to be reticence to try it out? – Yeah, that’s a
very good question. So that’s why we started
with the pet food market. But at the same time, we first
targeted the initial market, which are athletes. And they only use whey protein,
which damage their health. And they can actually
find alternative, but they complain about
their stomach ache, and stuff like that. And also, there are many
people who are allergic, so they need
something different. And also, there
are over 2 billion people who already eat insect. And also, you know, the number
of vegans are increasing. And this new thing it’s called
entomo-vegan, so people think that while we are planting
we already kill insects, so why not eating them? So they started to
eat insect, as well. – You mentioned other
protein alternatives being cost prohibitive. What’s the difference
in terms of your unit economics versus some
of those alternatives? You mentioned Memphis Meats, and
these will be chick pea based for soy based or whatever. What does your business
model look like versus those? – Very good question. So first of all, we
don’t really compete with the existing
one, because they are trying to replace the meat. So they are doing
this fake burger. We don’t make a fake burger. Just want to target the people
that produce more better alternative protein source. But the fact that it’s not just
reaching protein, also reaching consume. 100 times more consume
than regular meat. Any of the protein sources
has these advantages. – So you mentioned also that
there’s already an existing population that eats insects. But you’re looking at a
market actually that is not so familiar with that. So why not enter a
market where there’s already a lot of familiarity
with insects as an edible item? And what is the
competition like there? – Yeah, good point. So we also think the marketing
for people who already eat. But also, we want to
customize the protein according to people’s needs. So who has allergic– they
don’t much of a choice. So that’s why we– there is a gap in that field. So we want to just fill it. – What about the
existing companies– the existing protein companies? Why don’t they suddenly
start using the insect based? What is their barrier to
entry towards you guys? – Can you– – Existing providers that
actually create protein powder right now– what’s their barrier
to entry to start creating protein from insects, once
that picks up and people start accepting it as an idea? – So our business
model, when it comes to protein bars or our
product, we don’t plan B to B. – OK. – If it was your question–
if I didn’t misunderstand it. – I think the biggest part is
it took two years to replicate what nature does, to
get that type of insect and have it produced at scale. A lot of the large
companies are using alternatives from
farms, and from meat, even from meat leftovers. So there will be a
transition, we think, towards insect based proteins. And we’re probably the first
in market that makes it as a technology defensibility. We don’t have patents, but
we have intellectual property that we keep as trade secrets. So nobody knows how the
process works except for a very limited amount of people. And because as I was a
biologist and worked in science, it has a huge
advantage in building up the portfolio of protecting
and making it defensible. – All right. – You mentioned
earlier that there’s already an existing market of
consumers that eat insects. But what about– have you guys
done the same type of product or market research
in the sense of, or in terms of the
decomposed food? Because that part of it–
like, how do other people feel about eating food that’s
already been decomposed, mixed in with insects, as well? Have you thought
about– have you thought about that, as well? Or what is the market telling
you about that segment of your product? – Decomposed food? – Yeah. – So we charge the companies
so much less than government or the other companies. Because we earn money. I mean, it’s all
our own material. We only need to earn money
by selling our products very high in the margins. And also, there are
many companies who follow the zero based strategy. It’s a big chance for them,
because we recycle for them and they took advantage of it. – And there are other companies
who started with two protein alternatives through insects. But their focus is
kind of replicating what is in the market
that looks like it. We are approaching it from a
protein powder perspective. So we think it’s going to
be a differentiation point. – Excuse me. You mentioned you’re
expanding to USA. Have you tried the expansion
in the nearby countries before? And how was acceptance
before stepping the ocean? – Yeah. So– – Answer quickly. Answer quickly. – OK. So because almost half of the
pet food market is in the US, that’s why the
entered the US market. But then what we
realized was there is no need for
FDA for athletes– a special whey protein market. And they are very open
to new alternatives. We had many interviews. So that’s why it’s
time to go for it. – All right. Give it up for Naturansa! [APPLAUSE]

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2 thoughts on “Startup Battlefield Mena 2018: Naturansa (Finalist)

  1. I hope this company goes far. We need and love protein but eating meat is irrefutably unethical. Insects are the perfect alternative choices and they have been sitting in our backyard this whole time. It's about time this market boomed.

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