The original version of this story was published in ica.fund.
In 2010, Monica Martinez had a vision for a highly sustainable, insect-based snack company. She wanted to honor the indigenous, pre-Hispanic culinary traditions of Mexico. Over the course of the next decade, Monica got the company off the ground mostly with her own funds. She worked as the sole employee of Don Bugito.
But eventually, she was ready to expand her farming operations in order to move production in-house and add new products. That’s when she knew she needed additional support. Monica found ICA after working with its partner, La Cocina. In 2020, Monica participated in ICA’s flagship program for growth-stage companies, The Accelerator.
At the culminating pitch event, Monica impressed the judges – including ICA’s investment team. She secured a $200K growth equity investment in Don Bugito from ICA’s Growth Fund.
The infusion of capital has enabled Monica to make significant changes to her business.
I was able to hire two full-time employees and offer some benefits—in other words, real, good jobs.
Don Bugito gained a couple of new clients for its existing products. The company is also in the process of growing its insect farm and scaling it up. Monica participated in some national trade shows as well, and resumed talks with her largest distributor.
Now, Don Bugito is in the process of launching two new agricultural products: a non-GMO, organic, insect-based plant food that protects plants from other insect attacks, as well as organic chicken feed for backyard chicken farmers.