Sander and George, founders of Burgs Foods, believe that edible insects are the perfect alternative source of protein since they are full of nutritional value and their production creates a much lower environmental impact than the production of meat.
The Cricket Burger
It all started when Sander was backpacking through Thailand. “Eating crickets is very common for people over there and it inspired me. However, I realized that eating it unprocessed might not appeal to many people in Western countries.” George and Sander have known each other for years and one day the two came together and decided to further develop this initial idea. After working with different insects in many different ways, they ended up with a burger made of crickets. “The overall aim is to process edible insects into food products which Europeans are familiar with. The Cricket Burger has already been successfully distributed through several direct sales channels.”
In 2017, the founders enrolled in their very first entrepreneurial programme (Erasmus Startup Programme) together. George was still a student and Sander had recently graduated. “Back then we had successfully tested some ideas with customers but we were still at a very early stage. It was important to us that we both learned more about all the basics. Eventually, due to all the coaching and support, we were able to form a new business plan which would focus on B2B instead of B2C. The programme helped us realize that this shift would entail a better fit with our products. It taught us the ideal mindset to have when starting up a business.”
Growth and recognition
Back then, George had just won the Global Student Entrepreneurship Awards and so they went to the finals in Toronto. In 2019 they became the prizewinners of the Columbus Trophy, which is an incentive prize for starting companies that are suppliers in the hospitality industry and/or have developed an innovative hospitality concept. “A lot has happened since then“, founder Sander explains, “we started with just the two of us but right now we own two production facilities and have expanded to a team of 13 people.”
Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs
“I strongly advise to follow the Erasmus Startup Programme when you are still at that early stage, like we were back then.” Co-founder Sander notes that “It is nicely structured and consists of all the necessary basics. The context in which it is given, a group of fellow entrepreneurs, has a positive impact on you because it is very motivating. We are all trying to do the same, learning basic skills and information, while also learning from each other’s mistakes.” After successfully completing this programme, the duo also enrolled in the Erasmus Business Programme, which gave them access to specific coaching and accountability sessions. “Overall, the Startup Programme did for us what it had to do, which was getting started.”