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10 companies started by college students

By: Sidney Stevens on April 16, 2015, 1:12 p.m.
Gabi Lewis and Greg Sewitz, founders of Exo

Photo: Exo

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Exo

This one may be hard to swallow (literally), but hear us out. Gabi Lewis (from left) and Greg Sewitz were roommates at Brown University when they hit upon an unconventional idea — at least for Westerners. They decided to make a great-tasting protein bar using an unusual though nutritious super-high-protein ingredient: cricket flour. They ordered live crickets (which they ground and roasted into a nutty-tasting fine flour), played around with recipes, and after graduating in 2013, they launched a Kickstarter campaign to ramp up their company, Exo, into a full-time venture. Their line of organic, low-fat, gluten-free, dairy-free bars includes flavors like Cacao Nut and Peanut Butter and Jelly. Why crickets? Since much of the world already eats insects, a better question might be, why not? Crickets are more sustainable to raise than, say, cattle, which produce 100 times more greenhouse gases, and they require significantly less water and land. Plus, they're a complete protein with all essential amino acids and are rich in micronutrients, including twice the iron of spinach.