Student startups create eco-friendly inventions

Student startups show eco-friendly inventions

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Some people swear insects are the food of the future.

But how do you turn crickets into, say, donuts? Some University of Oregon grad students have found a way.

Their invention is one of several competing in Portland State University's annual Cleantech Challenge.

The Ento Food Group has come up with an innovative way to process crickets into not only powder, but also into a protein rich oil. They call it the processing plant of the future.

"We've been prototyping the different devices to do the extraction, to do the powder making, to create this facility that really hasn't been done this way before," explained company co-founder Charles Wilson.

The Ento Food Group is one of several teams from seven universities across Oregon competing for $50,000 in prizes.

Kale-Tek is another. Made up of students from Lewis and Clark College, the company invented a water repellent spray made out of kale.

That's right, the same veggie we eat. The product uses kale's natural water repellent wax in its non-toxic spray.

"What the water does on the kale... it just beads right up and sort of rolls around," explained Emily Kelley.

And would you every think of insulating your home with mushrooms? A group of University of Portland students have found a way to do just that.

In addition to its biodegradable insulation, Infinity Homes uses completely sustainable wood and a unique double frame modular system  to cut heating and cooling costs by 90 percent in their homes.

The startup's goal is to offer buyers an eco-friendly and affordable home.

"We're looking to build them for people for under $100,000," said company president Amanda Stowe

The competition runs through Friday. The grand prize winner will get $10,000.


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