Bugs for Food: University of Michigan’s Social Venture Fund Invests in Six Foods

Shannon Beeman
June 13, 2018

The Social Venture Fund, based in the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies located at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, announced an investment in Six Foods, an insect-based food company headquartered in San Francisco.

Six Foods will use the investment to hire a director of sales. The position will help to expand their advocacy training program to teach students how to speak to the broader community about the current food system to create events that engage more people in solutions for food sustainability.

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The Social Venture Fund

Founded in 2009, the Social Venture Fund is managed by a team of nearly 40 MBA and BBA students. The goal is to find innovative, for-profit companies that have social and environmental impact at the heart of their business models.

“Impact means something different to everyone, depending on your industry. It’s definitely becoming a more common part of the conversation,” Omrani said. “even traditional investment funds are figuring out how to measure both impact and positive returns. We’re seeing our understanding of the impact investment landscape evolving. Working on the Social Venture Fund has given us a front-row seat. It has equipped us with some of the best learning experiences of our careers.”

“The students who run the Social Venture Fund apply the best of their knowledge and skills to funding companies that tackle some of the biggest problems that society faces,” said Gautam Kaul, the Social Venture Fund’s faculty director. “Often, our due diligence teams evaluate companies that can make an impact. In this deal, the fund has done an excellent job in identifying a company that has the potential to take over an entire market and fundamentally change the way we think about food sustainability.”

“If there will be a move toward insect-based proteins, this is the company that will do it,” said Sahar Omrani, MBA ’18, director of investments at the
Social Venture Fund.

About Six Foods

Six Foods, won funding from Mark Cuban on Shark Tank.  Creating impact through a sustainable food ecosystem, and the early traction needed to make their vision a reality has landed co-founders Rose Wang and Laura D’Asaro on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

In addition to seed money, the investment will provide Six Foods with a member of the Social Venture Fund to act as a board observer, as well as a team available for consulting projects that would benefit the business.

For more information about Six Foods, visit www.chirpschips.com. For information about the Social Venture Fund, visit www.umsocialventure.com.