Updated: Jul 1
BugEra produces strains of the Black Soldier Fly (BSF) through genetic engineering to create new sustainable and safe products that tackle environmental challenges such as biodiesel production.
Six female founders were chosen as finalists to pitch their business idea to a panel of food tech experts at the Women of Agrifood Nation Competition. The event was created to help female founders of food tech startups by providing business support and promoting investment in their companies. The event took place on June 6, 2021, at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation.
Chief Technology Officer (CTO), head of R&D, and female founder of BugEra, Dr. Anna Melkov competed in the second annual Women of Agrifood Nation Competition pitching event.
We had the great pleasure of interviewing Dr. Anna Melkov and hearing about her experience.
How have you felt on your journey to where you are today?
“I feel like I’ve gained more confidence both in the context of my idea validation and in my public speaking skills. The feedback I’ve got from the mentors helped me to clear the message and made me more precise both on my vision and presenting skills. Since my background is fully academic, it was not easy for me to adjust to the new format of information flow and oral presentations needed in the field of startups. Moreover, I’ve learned to make scientific ideas accessible and clear to a wide range of audiences.”
How did the event help you reach your goals?
“I have got a lot of very useful insights and perspectives on the field of business aspects and strategies from leading experts. I do not think I had clearly defined goals when I filled the application form, but now I believe I have a bigger picture and my realization of the processes had expanded.”
“Next, we are heading into the real world, while my “toolbox” has increased with all the useful and practical ideas I’ve got during mentoring sessions.”
What were some of the key moments in your journey?
“The last couple of months were very tense and time-consuming, however, the supporting atmosphere created by Carmit Oron and Hamotal Gozlan made it fun! So, the key moment for me was not the final pitch and “after-party event”, it was getting to know the amazing people behind it.”
What motivates you to keep going when you get turned down, especially as a woman in this sector?
“My biggest motivation is my daughters, I believe that I must provide a personal example for my girls. This realization gives me the power to keep going even when I get “NO”. Moreover, my passion for science drives me on a day-to-day basis, I am cr