This fall, Carleton alumnus Gabe Mott and his team will stand before world business leaders and former U.S. President Bill Clinton and ask for $1 million.
His goal is to help put crickets on dinner tables around the world.
Mott, who received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Carleton, is part of a team who have become finalists in the Hult Prize competition. It’s the world’s largest student business competition that focuses on social good, and is in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative. The finale of the competition takes place in New York in the fall 2013.
This year’s competition focused on bringing safe, sufficient, affordable and accessible food to 200 million people who live in urban slums.
“We were looking for a model to help these people get properly fed, have regular nutrition, and increase their quality of life,” Mott says.
The team brainstormed and developed a business plan that would involve generating crickets on an industrial scale.
“We really felt crickets were a winning idea, and as we built and refined it, it got better and better,” Mott says.
The business model includes providing families in slums with specially-designed portable containers that would produce five kilograms of crickets every two months. McGill architecture student Jakub Dzamba helped with the design of the kits.
The model also includes processing these high-protein insects into flour for bread.
“We’ve been working with chefs to get the best (flour to cricket) ratio,” he says, adding that crickets are also a strong source of iron.
Mott’s team from the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University have gone far in the competition, and were one of 250 teams that were chosen out of 10,000 applications.
Regional finals were held around the world, and the team competed in Boston in March – coming out on top against competitors like Harvard Business School and Yale University.
Mott and his team’s idea was also recently featured in the publication, Bloomberg Businessweek – a New York City-based business magazine.
The team is now up against five others, and no matter what the result is, Mott is determined to make the business work.
Mott was involved in giving back to the community in the past – especially in organizations that helped disabled people.
“While winning would be great, either way we’re going to run with this business.”
He added that Carleton helped him get to where he is today – especially one of his mentors, Prof. Bruce Hutcheon, who taught him effective ways of solving problems.
“I was able to use the skills broadly in the business world after graduation,” Mott said. “The same skills, now more refined, really drive my approach to the issues that came up in developing our initial concept into a winning proposal.”