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We are global industry leaders in the edible insect movement.

About Us

Aspire operates in Ghana and the United States

In Ghana
We commercially farm palm weevil larvae and run a program which empowers peri-rural farmers to raise palm weevils locally.
In the United States
We raise food-grade crickets on a commercial scale, and are actively working to normalize the consumption of insects in the western world.
History of Aspire
2012
October

Mohammed learns about the Hult Prize and recruits MBA classmates Gabe, Shobhita, Jesse, and Zev from McGill University Hult Prize team to compete in 2013 Hult Prize competition.

2013
February

McGill Hult Prize Team decides to build business plan around insect consumption after Mohammed's serendipitous insight from friend (and family physician) Dr. Mohamed Slim.

March

McGill Hult Prize Team defeats Harvard University in final round of Regional Finals to wins Boston Regional Finals; become one of 5 global finalists vying for $1,000,000 Hult Prize in September 2013.

April

Co-founders officially form corporation as the initial shareholders 8489548 Canada Ltd.

May

Landmark United Nations Food and Agricultural Origanization (FAO) report on edible insects is published "Edible Insects: Future Prospects for Food and Feed".

June

Team travels to Thailand to begin field research.

September

Gabe travels to Southern Thailand with Dr. Mark Hoddle to learn how to farm palm weevil larvae.

Aspire Food Group wins 2013 Hult Prize on September 23, 2013 at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City.

2014
February

Aspire initiates palm weevil larva farming pilot for the first time in the history of the continent with the University of Ghana.

Global full-time staff headcount: 7

April

Mohammed conducts exploratory trip to USA, investigating the possibility of a pilot scale farm in Austin, Texas, inspired by rising demand for cricket flour.

June

Gabe travels to Mexico to initiate R&D efforts on chapulines, grasshoppers, for the possibility of commercial scale production in Mexico.

Aspire Ghana launches a pilot with 25 women in the Brong Ahafo region to farm their own palm weevil larva as a source of animal protein and additional income.

 

September

Aspire USA incorporated and launches pilot cricket farm in Austin, Texas.

Global full-time staff headcount: 11

November

Aspire acquires World Entomophagy. 

First revenue dollar in USA achieved.

2015
January

Aspire Ghana starts its own farm for centralized production in Kumasi, Ghana.

March

Aspire USA cricket farming operation outgrows farm staff capacity while R&D efforts in Mexico continue. Gabe relocates to Austin, Texas to take command of farm operations.

May

First revenue dollar in Ghana achieved.

July

Over 400 farmers empowered in Kumasi to produce palm weevil larvae for family sustenance.

August

Aspire closes Series A round, the first ever for an edible insect company in North America.

September

Shobhita relocates to Austin, Texas and commences role as Chief Impact Officer.

Global full-time staff headcount: 14

October

Global full-time staff headcount: 14

2016
January

Mohammed and Shobhita selected to Forbes 30 under 30 for 2016 “Social Enterprise”.

February

Senior Scientific officers appointed.

March

Global staff headcount: 24

April

Aketta.com is launched.

May

Global staff headcount: 30

2012
October 2012

Mohammed learns about the Hult Prize and recruits MBA classmates Gabe, Shobhita, Jesse, and Zev from McGill University Hult Prize team to compete in 2013 Hult Prize competition.

2013
February 2013

McGill Hult Prize Team decides to build business plan around insect consumption after Mohammed's serendipitous insight from friend (and family physician) Dr. Mohamed Slim.

March 2013

McGill Hult Prize Team defeats Harvard University in final round of Regional Finals to wins Boston Regional Finals; become one of 5 global finalists vying for $1,000,000 Hult Prize in September 2013.

April 2013

Co-founders officially form corporation as the initial shareholders 8489548 Canada Ltd.

May 2013

Landmark United Nations Food and Agricultural Origanization (FAO) report on edible insects is published "Edible Insects: Future Prospects for Food and Feed".

June 2013

Team travels to Thailand to begin field research.

September 2013

Gabe travels to Southern Thailand with Dr. Mark Hoddle to learn how to farm palm weevil larvae.

Aspire Food Group wins 2013 Hult Prize on September 23, 2013 at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City.

2014
February 2014

Aspire initiates palm weevil larva farming pilot for the first time in the history of the continent with the University of Ghana.

Global full-time staff headcount: 7

April 2014

Mohammed conducts exploratory trip to USA, investigating the possibility of a pilot scale farm in Austin, Texas, inspired by rising demand for cricket flour.

June 2014

Gabe travels to Mexico to initiate R&D efforts on chapulines, grasshoppers, for the possibility of commercial scale production in Mexico.

Aspire Ghana launches a pilot with 25 women in the Brong Ahafo region to farm their own palm weevil larva as a source of animal protein and additional income.

 

September 2014

Aspire USA incorporated and launches pilot cricket farm in Austin, Texas.

Global full-time staff headcount: 11

November 2014

Aspire acquires World Entomophagy. 

First revenue dollar in USA achieved.

2015
January 2015

Aspire Ghana starts its own farm for centralized production in Kumasi, Ghana.

March 2015

Aspire USA cricket farming operation outgrows farm staff capacity while R&D efforts in Mexico continue. Gabe relocates to Austin, Texas to take command of farm operations.

May 2015

First revenue dollar in Ghana achieved.

July 2015

Over 400 farmers empowered in Kumasi to produce palm weevil larvae for family sustenance.

August 2015

Aspire closes Series A round, the first ever for an edible insect company in North America.

September 2015

Shobhita relocates to Austin, Texas and commences role as Chief Impact Officer.

Global full-time staff headcount: 14

October 2015

Global full-time staff headcount: 14

2016
January 2016

Mohammed and Shobhita selected to Forbes 30 under 30 for 2016 “Social Enterprise”.

February 2016

Senior Scientific officers appointed.

March 2016

Global staff headcount: 24

April 2016

Aketta.com is launched.

May 2016

Global staff headcount: 30

2012
2013
2014
2015
2016

Our Team

For everyone at Aspire, our long-term vision is to celebrate, innovate, and advance responsible farming and healthy eating of insects. We will continue to research and invest in sustainable insect farming practices to bring this protein alternative to market.

Staff
Mohammed Ashour
Co-Founder and CEO
  • Former VP sales fastest growing tech startup in Canada
  • Led team to defeat 10,000 business proposals to win Hult Prize
  • Forbes 30 under 30
  • MD(C), MBA(C), MSc - McGill University
  • BSc - University of Toronto
Gabe Mott
Co-Founder and COO
  • Operations executive with 10+ years experience
  • Named one of top MBA Impact Makers in history of McGill
  • US$1mm Hult Prize winner (2013)
  • MBA - McGill University
  • MSc(C) - Carleton University
Shobhita Soor
Co-Founder and CIO
  • Lawyer-turned-entrepreneur with expertise in food systems
  • US$1mm Hult Prize winner (2013)
  • Forbes 30 under 30
  • TEDMED Fellow
  • JD (LLB, BCL), MBA, BSc - McGill University
Michael Hall
Chief Technology Officer
  • Serial inventor with extensive R&D and IP experience
  • Designed and rapidly deployed innovative systems in military, pharmaceutical, and rotary aircraft industries
  • BSME, MSEE - Purdue University
Dr. Duncan Selby
Director of Research, Entomology
  • 13+ years experience in entomology with strong background in research, data analytics, and breeding systems
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow - University of California (Riverside)
  • PhD (Entomology) - Michigan State University
  • MSc (Entomology) - McGill University
  • BSc (Science) - University of Toronto
Dan Boehm
Director of Software Engineering
  • Distributed systems engineer with expertise in robotics, IoT systems, and algorithm design
  • Experience in building and deploying highly scalable distributed software and server systems
  • BSc (Computer Science) - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Nailah Hendrickson
Operations Manager
  • 14+ years experience in manufacturing excellence, operations and productions at Coca Cola Company, Keurig, and Boston Scientific
  • MBA - Champlain College
  • BS (Business Administration) - Park Universtiy
Uzair Jaffer
Director of Social Impact and Operations
  • Project management, international development and sustainable development experience in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Canada
  • BBA - University of Toronto
  • MDP - University of Waterloo
Venu Margam
Director of Research, Insects
  • Over 5 years of insect-rearing experience post graduate studies
  • Ph.D. (Entomology) - Purdue University
  • M.S. (Entomology) - University of Kentucky
  • B. Sc. (Agriculture) Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University

Contact Us

Aspire's 1 Year Update at the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative Hult Prize Dinner

In a world that is experiencing rapid urbanization of arable land, it is time to scale a disruptive business with a realistic roadmap and an unparalleled, global mission. More than ever, we need a nutritious source of protein that is eco-friendly and resource efficient.

Our mission is to provide economically challenged, malnourished populations with high protein and micronutrient-rich food solutions derived from the supply and development of insects and insect-based products.

Aspire Vision
"We refuse to live in a world where food and nutrition insecurity abound, and we have the Audacity, Skill, Passion, Ingenuity, Rebelliousness and commitment to Excellence to do something about it."