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The Challenge

Hidden hunger is a lack of proteins, minerals and vitamins. One person out of three is affected by it and poor diet causes over 40% of child mortality. Insect products contain nutrients that are often absent in conventional food items. They can help to complement the common diet.

The production aspects have had far less attention than the food science research. The Pier 12 team will be challenged to improve rearing conditions in larvae farming. Goal is to increase protein and micronutrient intake in areas where poverty, living conditions or scarcity of land limit traditional farming. The team will deal with container design, control of breeding conditions and knowledge exchange between local farmers.


Create a nutrient-rich basic supply for all people who do not have access to it.


We are building insect farms to breed the black soldier fly (BSF). We process the bred larvae into a protein- and nutrient-rich powder that can be sold at affordable prices. We also integrate local people into the project by instructing them in the breeding process and then allowing them to do it themselves.


A team working on their project and having fun
A bowl of larvae
Two people discussing their project
A member of Pier 12 inspecting the progress of a 3D printer
Incubating larvae
A 3D printer creating an element
The Pier 12 team presenting their results
The Pier 12 team answering questions about their project

Project Team

Agnes Jakab

Agnes is a Human Resources professional, working in the nonprofit sector. She is big believer in the power of multidisciplinary teams, and skills offered on a voluntary basis. She's part of THE Port organising team from the hackathon’s earliest days. She plays viola and loves the outdoors, including some crazy swims in cold mountain lakes...

Andrea Martini

James Jennings

James is an entrepreneur, business consultant, and former executive with experience in coffee, renewable energy, health care, and other industries. This is his third hackathon with THE Port. He enjoys travel, cooking, skiing, hiking, rowing, and making maple syrup.

Kitty Liao

Kitty is an entrepreneur, engineer and innovator. She is a hackathon enthusiast and she has been with THE Port since its launch in 2014. She has 10+ years of experience in low-temperature and multi-disciplinary systems, user-centred design, vaccine cold-chain in hard-to-reach and remote areas, design for low-resource settings, prototyping and project management. She is founder and CEO of Ideabatic, an award-winning social enterprise. She is an Enterprise Fellow at the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK). Kitty enjoys travelling, designing and making her own clothes, cooking and swimming.

Laura Leykamp

Laura holds a degree in Life Sciences and is specialized in cell culture with medical focus. She is a maker and driven by the believe that nothing is impossible. As an active member of Insectus, she is working on a solution to fight malnutrition in developing countries by providing a rich protein source made out of the back solider fly. For her, life is a lot about experiences and learning to understand different perspectives. Being active and close to nature, as well as her creative side help her to be balanced and focused.

Leonardo Cristella

Leonardo Milano

Passionate about how innovation can help solving humanitarian challenges, in 2016 Leonardo joined the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) to carry out cutting-edge research on displacement related to conflicts and natural disasters worldwide. Trained as a physicist, Leonardo worked as data analyst in two of the world leading research organizations: CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research and LBL, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He holds a PhD in nuclear physics, is a native Italian speaker, fluent in English and French and has a working knowledge of Spanish.

Sophie Ashcroft

Sophie is a UX Researcher, artist, and creative technologist from Manchester, UK. She recently performed for the first time as a live coding artist at an Algorave show in Sheffield, outside of digital design, developing her ceramics practise is what brings her joy.



Sustainable Development Goals