Hiki Foods won $13,000 USD in investment funding and $2,000 in travel expenses to attend the International Business Model Competition in Silicon Valley, hosted at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, USA, May 11-12, 2017.
Hiki Foods (Jorge Ramírez Bringas, Andrés Quesada Nicoli, Juan Salinas Dávila and Gustavo Lobatón Murguí) took the top award with their “Cricket Mix” product that seeks to provide inexpensive and sustainable protein sources globally. They showed detailed research describing the problems and costs of relying on more expensive and resource-draining sources like beef production. The team used the IBMC tools to vet their business model in order to solve this global problem. Their hypothesis was to use insects as a core protein source; they are commonly eaten globally, can be mass produced, are inexpensive and neutral tasting. With their research they narrowed the field from bees (too useful) and cockroaches (too gross) to crickets, to be used in a powder form that can be incorporated into items such as protein bars, grain mixes or baked goods.
The team showed a thorough understanding of the lean process with extensive interviews to guide their decision-making and development of a final product.
Second place went to Dipvix, the maker of a $15 test for the human papillomavirus which causes cervical cancer. This simple, at-home test can yield positive or negative test results in minutes and overcomes the cost and accessibility limitations of HPV vaccinations. Over 370,000 women die annually due to cervical cancer.
Third place was earned by HandySort who assesses the ripeness and and automated sorting of Haas avocados.
Other finalists included:
The Hiki Foods team will compete on a global stage at the IBMC in Silicon Valley.
Sponsors of the IMBC competition were COFIDE, Alta XL, a division of the Alta Innovation Institute and Kickstart Peru.