JIMINY CRICKET: One day, entomologists may be able to point to Elle for making crickets the latest in gourmet food.
On Tuesday, a panel of judges led by editor in chief Robbie Myers listened to four entrepreneurs give a “Shark Tank”-style presentation for the chance to win the Elle Impact Award. Elle, along with investment firm Le Comptoir de l’Innovation and social enterprise company Calso, developed the award, which aims to help grow a female entrepreneur’s business.
This year, nine editions of Elle – including France, India, Italy Canada, South Africa, Sweden, Belgium and the U.K. – will crown their country’s winner. That winner will travel to Paris in April to compete for the grand prize at IMPACT2, an international event on social entrepreneurship.
U.S. candidates included Six Foods, a sustainable food company that promotes the consumption of insects; Atikus, a microfinance firm geared to facilitating loans to underserved individuals across the globe; handmade handbag maker JadeTribe, and water conservancy company Water Collective.
At Hearst Tower in New York, U.S. candidates presented before a jury that included Feed founder and chief executive officer Lauren Bush Lauren; journalist and ceo of Starfish Media Soledad O’Brien; Red ceo Deborah Dugan, and Desiree Gruber, president and ceo of Full Picture.
Six Foods cofounder and ceo Rose Wang took home the prize after her insightful presentation that emphasized the importance of limiting food waste by harvesting insects, and included a tasting of tortilla chips made of crickets punctuated with a humorous slide that read “Bug Appétit.”
All Elle Impact winners will receive mentoring and support from CDI and Calso, and will also get a feature in their country’s edition of Elle.