Montana State University

Co-founder of edible cricket energy bar company to give Feb. 24 lecture at MSU

February 16, 2015 -- MSU News Service

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Patrick Crowley, the co-founder of Chapul, a company that produces energy bars made with edible crickets, will serve as the Montana State University Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship’s spring Entrepreneur-In-Residence. Crowley will also give a free public lecture at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24, in Reid Hall 108 on the MSU campus.

Crowley’s presentation, "Bringing Insects to Market: How Chapul created an entirely new food category," will cover his journey from “water geek” to entrepreneur, including how he raised start-up funds on Kickstarter.com and through “Shark Tank,” the popular reality television show where entrepreneurs pitch their products to a panel of investors. He is also expected to discuss his passion for creating a sustainable water solution through his products.

As Entrepreneur-In-Residence for the week of Feb. 23, Crowley will also visit business classes and meet with students in the college’s entrepreneurship program. In addition, Crowley will be the featured speaker at 1 p.m. during MSU’s 27th annual Bug Buffet, set for noon-4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, in MSU’s Plant Growth Center. The buffet, which is sponsored by several entities including the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship, is an exploration of edible insects as a source of nutrition for global food security and includes tastings and informational posters.

Crowley's career path has taken him from surf guide and whitewater rafting guide to hydrologist and entrepreneur. All positions, he said, have been driven by his passion to ensure a more sustainable water future.

Crowley’s concern for the future of water in the U.S. grew as he spent a year hitchhiking through Mexico and Central America, he said. During those travels, he observed a disproportionate rate of water consumption versus water availability. Crowley returned to the U.S. and earned a master’s degree in watershed hydrology, which he said he intended to use to solve global water dilemmas.

Crowley began this work with a focus on agricultural water conservation and then decided to address the issue from a consumer standpoint. He co-founded Chapul, which is based in Salt Lake City, in 2012. In 2014, he appeared on “Shark Tank” and inked a $50,000 deal. He now calls it his mission to introduce insects into Western cuisine as a more water-resource efficient form of food, and he intends to create consumer demand that will drive agricultural changes for a more sustainable food system.

For more information on the lecture or the Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, contact Scott Bryant at bryant@montana.edu or 994-6191. More information about the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship is available at www.montana.edu/business.

Contact: Audrey Capp, (406) 994-7026 or audrey.lee@montana.edu