January 25, 2022

A growing company, LepidUp wants to modernize its facilities in Amiens

“We are always in the process of improvement, we have learned a lot from the start”, smiles Boris Mirvaux, originally – with Albert Nguyen-Van-Nhien and Vianney Patrat-Delon – of LepidUp. Three years ago, they imagined an ecological and responsible breeding of insects intended for the owners of reptiles in search of a more qualitative nutrition. Installed above the Repasserie of the Ozange.net association from which it recovers heat, LepidUp feeds its caterpillars with privet leaves, a readily available local resource that it collects directly from individuals.

Plural markets

To make itself known, LepidUp first relied on influencers on Instagram and followed by the reptile-loving community. If today the sector is buoyant, the young company has also discovered a new market: that of schools.

“Being able to follow the entire cycle from a caterpillar to the butterfly is of great interest to schoolchildren, it’s easy to set up and it’s very concrete”, notes Boris Mirvaux. The entrepreneur also prospected the zoos with his partners, but the volumes and the regularity of the needs are today too complex to manage. “We are still in a phase of progress, we are currently working on smoothing our production in order to be able to continuously supply our customers”, he continues, observing the sleeping butterflies.

The 300 or so individuals have ten days to breed and thus ensure the sustainability of the livestock. In addition to commercial opportunities, LepidUp stands out for its scientific focus as Albert Nguyen-Van-Nhien is currently conducting research from the cocoon and carapace of insects. These two elements could be used to create an antibacterial double skin dressing. “We are currently looking for funding, but it is something very promising”, emphasizes Boris Mirvaux.

LepidUp will change its facilities. © Aletheia Press / D. La Phung

Modernize the facilities

Initially starting out on wooden racks, LepidUp decided to upgrade its installations, this time preferring aluminum. “The wood was a prototype, but we found that cleaning was difficult. With aluminum it’s easier, since everything can be steamed “, details Boris Mirvaux. To avoid contamination between the racks and the spread of a possible epidemic, LepidUp called on the expertise of the Sewing Kiosk to create strips of fabric with openings to collect insect droppings.

To finance all of these projects, LepidUp has opted for crowdfunding. A campaign closed in mid-December. “We still do not wish to raise funds, since it would then be necessary to enter into an economic logic that does not resemble us”, notes Boris Mirvaux. The company has set itself the goal of processing 1,500 caterpillars per week, a figure that would allow it to cover its expenses and the salary of its only employee.