In the previous post, I mentioned how IBG came to exist and wrote a little about how the founders have known each other over the last 20+ years. Now we had an idea, we had a team, we had a place to build our company in (Andalucia, Spain), and a year of research began.

Between us, as experienced entrepreneurs, scientists and sustainability experts, we already knew we had a lot to learn. So we took on that challenge. Day after day, we called insect experts up, read every scientific and business article we could find, particularly on Black Soldier Flies and their magic larvae, and then read them all again. We got on Zoom, on planes, trains and in automobiles, to make sure we were finding out everything we could.

We had to learn about the insect itself, the waste we were using, how we would do R&D, and how to make the right feedstock for the larvae. We needed to cost out how much that would be, but also how much 10,000sqm of factory would cost to build and operate. Then how much it would cost, and what we could earn, from manufacturing 50,000 tonnes a year of protein by 2031.

We wanted a big goal, and we found one. At the same time as costing out factories, costs, testing, margins and all the usual work that goes into business plan writing, we also commissioned some laboratory experiments with respected institution, to sense-check our initial idea of using the most plentiful feedstock for BSF larvae in Andalucia, olive waste.

We were delighted to find that our hunch that this can be used for our business turned out right, and rigorous scientific testing has validated our fundamental business idea: That we can turn waste into wealth and help fill the protein and fertiliser gap.