Insects are lovely pets

We offer to develop specialized food for insect pets, organize lectures on insect life and "living" areas with insects for children

Photo of Наталья Кривошеина
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Purina BetterwithPets Prize and, based on its description, I am eligible to apply:

  • Yes, I’m eligible
  • Yes, I’m 18 years old or older

Should you be successful, please confirm your availability to attend:

  • Additional Skype interview(s) during the week of March 16-20th 2020
  • The Purina BetterwithPets Forum in Paris, on 3-4th of June 2020

Initiative's representative name

Krivosheina Natalya Igorevna

Initiative's representative date of birth


Initiative's representative gender

  • Woman

Headquarters location: country

  • Russia

Headquarters location: city


Where are you making a difference?

city (country)

Website or social media url(s)

Focus Areas

  • Fostering emotional intelligence and behavioural competences
  • Enhance physical activity and wellness
  • Re-imagining the role of pets in society
  • Revolutionizing veterinary care for pets

Organisation Type

  • government: an organisation that is part of or associated with the formal governing body of a community
  • educational institution: an organisation dedicated to teaching and learning, including primary, secondary, tertiary institutions, and vocational schools

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

In the our laboratory of biological control of phytophages and phytopathogens of Siberian Federal Scientific Center of agrobiotechnologies Russian Academy of Sciences there are meetings with schoolchildren and students, where scientists popularize knowledge of insects and try to instill empathy for these animals. Today insects cease to be something terrible and unpleasant, they take pride of place next to the person as pets. Insects, like all pets, must be fed in a balanced, correct way. To ensure that the pets are healthy and live a full life, they need a quality feed corresponding to the normal physiology of the insect.

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Our project helps to solve 2 problems: Problem of proper feeding of insect pets and problem of low level of knowledge about insects in people. The market of feed for insects is poorly developed and breeders have to feed their pets with food for cats and dogs, which negatively affects the life of pets. For the development of a healthy society, it is necessary to instill since childhood love for animals, especially for such unusual as arthropods

3. Your solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Our team proposes to develop specialized food for arthropods of domestic animals to expand the range of animal feeds, from the profit from sale to organize for children in schools and kindergartens "live" corners with insects, to give lectures about the life of insects.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

The market of feed for such pets as insects is now poorly developed, it is necessary to expand this market as demand grows. The novelty of our idea is that we create not just a business, but a business oriented on society, as we do not break with production and sale we are engaged in the education of the younger generation

5. How does your project harness the pet-human bond to help people develop important social competencies (For example: emotional intelligence, collaboration, empathy, resilience, inclusivity) and overcome serious societal issues (for example: violence, abuse, trauma, isolation, abandonment)?

Communication with insects in "living" corners from an early age is useful for children in terms of understanding the outside world, understanding the whole diversity of nature and, accordingly, forming the ecological ethics of the young generation. Lectures on the life of insects allow to expand the outlook of children

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

We will positively assess our impact on society if the "living" areas with insects and our lectures are met with approval in schools and kindergartens. Business success will be measured by the profit ability to prevail over costs

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

We plan to develop and patented the formula of food, create the appearance of packaging. In the long term, we expect a wide geographical spread of our product and recognition among insect breeders. We also plan to organize "live" corners in schools and kindergartens and to conduct cognitive lectures on the life of insects.

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for different stakeholders?

Correct communication with insects (in the “living” corners) from an early age is useful for children in terms of understanding the outside world, understanding the entire diversity of nature and, accordingly, for shaping the environmental ethics of the younger generation.

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

At the initial stage, financing is necessary for the development of the formula of food and its packaging, for the development of the starting quantity of food for sale. Then the production goes to the level of self-sufficiency, and then the profit. It is planned to support the production of food, personnel, education (creation of "living" corners and lectures for children). Financial support for the start of the project is planned to be received from the Purina Corporation and Ashoka Foundation

10. Team: what is the current composition of your team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

Our team consists of highly qualified specialists in the field of entomology - Andreeva I.V. (PhD), Shatalova E.I. (PhD), Ulianova E.G. (PhD) and biotechnologies Krivosheina N.I (master). Andreeva I.V. and Shatalova E.I. have a great experience of teaching with students and schoolchildren. In the future, our team will be joined by a designer and marketer.

12. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media


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