Last week we had the privilege of attending and presenting at the first Eating Innovation Conference, organized by Alimentary Initiatives and the Future Food Salon group and held at the Space For Life in Montreal, QC. We spent three very full and enriching days attending presentations and round tables with fellow entrepreneurs, academic researchers, veteran pioneers, and enthusiastic individuals, punctuated by introductions and conversation during breaks.
There was awesome art:
And cool new products on display! Like this home-scale cricket reactor from Third Millenium Farming called CircleChirp
We met old and new friends, tried exciting new food products from Montreal and France, and on the final night experienced a full 9 course bug banquet featuring myriad preparations of crickets (grown by our friends at Big Cricket Farms in Ohio) as well as chapulines and gusano salt imported from Mexico. They had an amazing photographer, and a full gallery is available here!
Our co-founders Jena and Andrew had the honor of presenting the third day's morning plenary session. They talked about business innovation through the lens of Silicon Valley, and presented an overview of startup funding options before opening up the session to a general strategy discussion where valuable questions were posed and insight shared by the audience. We're posting their presentation slides along with their notes below for everyone to access. We have also launched a forum topic for conversation spinning off of this topic, and we hope that anyone with questions or expertise will participate here:
Beyond the success of the conference itself (thanks to the indefatigable organizers), the very fact that this conference took place is a momentous event for those of us working day in and day out to build a viable edible insect industry. It is amazing and gratifying that our emerging field has now garnered enough interest in 2014 to warrant both a fully devoted academic conference in Europe (Insects to Feed the World) and a devoted interdisciplinary Art, Science and Business conference here in North America. We're seeing more than a flash in the pan here - we're seeing a real movement developing.