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Detroit urban ag startup raises edible insects

Detroit Ento crickets

When people think of insects the initial reaction is often not a positive one. When the co-founders of Detroit Ento think of insects, they see opportunity.

The Eastern Market-based startup is working to build a business around turning locally sourced insects into food and other similar products.

"We are an urban sustainable protein R&D firm for food, feed and pharma," says Theodore Kozerski, co-founder of Detroit Ento.

Kozerski and Anthony Hatinger launched Detroit Ento six months ago. They both worked in urban agriculture before that, including Kozerski working in the farm-to-cafeteria program at Detroit Public Schools. They both were intrigued by the ideas of pushing the urban agriculture envelope beyond raised beds and fish farms.

They found an opportunity to do so in Detroit Ento, a startup is raising insects that are eventually turned into edibles. Insects can serve as alternative sources of protein in both human food (cricket tacos, anyone?) and animal feed. They can also be sold to pharmaceutical companies for research purposes.

Detroit Ento currently is figuring out how to create a product line of insects bred, grown, and sold in Detroit. It's currently researching how to create processes that will make that happen in an economical way.

"The main thing is to get production going," Kozerski says.

Source: Theodore Kozerski, co-founder of Detroit Ento
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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