Beta Hatch wins top Flywheel prize, $185,000 in funding

Source: Reilly Kneedler, Wenatchee World, April 22

Beta Hatch, the Cashmere-bound insect producer, took home the Flywheel Investment Conference’s top prize and $185,000 in funding on Thursday.

Beta Hatch won the grand prize of $105,000, an additional $25,000 in funding, and was voted the audience favorite, which came with a $5,000 cash award, according to press release Friday from GWATA, North Central Washington’s Technology Alliance.

The company will also receive a highlight video produced by Wenatchee filmmaker North 40 Productions.

“I am very humbled because its a huge vote of confidence for our business and the community we’re moving into,” founder and CEO Virginia Emery said in an interview Friday. “There were five other awesome companies and we were really honored to be part of that group.”

It was one of six companies that competed in front of angel investors at the “Shark Tank-“style conference.

The company is currently based in Seattle, where it grows mealworms — a type of beetle larva — for poultry and fish food. It also uses the insects’ waste as fertilizer.

Beta Hatch plans to open a flagship facility in Cashmere early next year. Once it’s rolling, the facility will produce about a ton of mealworms a day.

They’re also working on a plan to use waste heat from a data center to heat the facility, Emery said.

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