Entoprot Team

Dr. Antti Vasala

CEO

antti.vasala@entoprot.com

+358-44 5571861

Dr. Antti Vasala has >35 yrs experience in microbiology, bioprocess engineering and biotechnology development in academy and in start-up companies. He has hold CEO and R&D Director positions in former BioSilta Oy. Dr. Vasala has competence in entrepreneurship, start-up company development, and social media marketing. In Entoprot Ltd he establishes connections with industrial partners and investors. He is also responsible for social media marketing and public relations. Dr. Vasala describes his enthusiasm in the following:

I have a lot of experience in bioprocess development from my research career at the University of Oulu. Thereby the principles and terminology of bioprocess engineering were already  familiar to me. I have to admit, though, that the idea of rearing insect larvae in a bioreactor had never come to my mind. When Ari told me that his design really works, I was astonished and impressed. The Entoprot system really fulfills all the basic demands of a well-working fed-batch process: efficient aeration, sufficient but not excessive nutrient feeding, process control, and above all, very high yield with a low effort.I immediately understood the market potential of insect protein production with the Entoprot bioreactor.  I had, in my earlier business career, experienced the difficulty to bring revolutionary technology to the market. New technology becomes more easily accepted if the price level is low. For the Entoprot system I see the possibilities for an efficient market penetration extremely good. I am very happy to be a part of the Entoprot success story!

Dr. Ari Riihimaa

Founder, Research Director, Board Member

ari.riihimaa@entoprot.com

Entoprot company founder, Dr. Ari Riihimaa, is an acknowledged expert on genetics, development and adaptation of Drosophila flies. He was awarded prestigious Mombusho scholarship and studied at the Hokkaido University (1984-1986).

Dr. Riihimaa has worked as a researcher and lecturer at the University of Oulu from 1981 to 1999. His doctoral thesis addressed the physiological and genetic adaptation of Chymomyza costata (Diptera; Drosophilidae) to Northern conditions. His previous roles include positions at the  Århus University in Denmark, National Public Health Institution of Finland and Oulu University of Applied Sciences. (where he obtained pedagogical certificate). In addition, he has worked as a designer and software developer.

From 2004 to 2013 Dr. Riihimaa served as a Board Member and Chairman of the Board of Oulun Tietotaito (COOP Enterprise). Driven by his entrepreneurial spirit, innovative thinking and extraordinary scientific background Dr. Riihimaa founded Entoprot Oy in 2017. He summarizes his path:

At the Department of Genetics, University of Oulu, we had to produce millions of Drosophila flies for research purposes. Gradually I learned how to feed them, how to make them copulate and hatch, and how to rear larvae. The Drosophila society at our department was very competent. We had researchers working with speciation (study on isolation mechanisms and formation of new species) and genetics of the circadian rhythm (development affected by the light cycle). Our technicians were very skillful and innovative. They were capable of building and running nearly any possible research instrument. Ever since I have been in close touch with these former colleagues of mine. Flies required almost daily care, and everyone had to take responsibility in their nurturing. This gave me thorough hands-on know-how on fly rearing, physiology and development. I got impressed by the fast development cycle of flies. The first idea of building an insect bioreactor came to me already 30 years ago – my intention then was to rear Drosophila larvae. But then it was not possible to get financing for patenting and bioreactor development. During the last decade, however, the interest to insect protein production has increased. I have followed these topics actively, and after learning more about the black soldier fly (BSF), I decided to transform my ideas into reality. It turned out that my experience with flies and my ideas about the insect bioreactor with BSF larvae production worked exceptionally well.

Dr. Päivi Forsman

R&D, Microbiology

paivi.forsman@entoprot.com

Päivi Forsman describes her involvement in Entoprot team in the following:

I was contacted by Ari Riihimaa, who was looking for a competent person to develop a bioprocess for insect rearing. By that time I was  nearly a pure-blood rookie concerning insect rearing. I had raised Drosophila flies during my study time at the University, and I was thus aware of flies’ fast re-production cycle and their modest requirement for nutrients. After Ari’s contact I read more about the black soldier flies and got really excited. I realized that the insect rearing process with complex substrates forms really an amazing cooperative between larvae, their intestinal microbiota, digestive enzymes and the microbes coming from the feed. Ari introduced me his innovative bioreactor design, and we concluded that it is an ideal platform for an efficient aerobic bioprocess, wherein larvae could be cultivated under slow movement and efficient mixing of nutrients and air to make valuable proteins. We figured out that these conditions can also promote the growth of useful microbes which can efficiently transform the feed to components that can be easily digested by the larvae. The first experiments strengthened our opinion, and by now we have advanced quite far in the development of insect mass production as a “total bioprocess”.

Arto Kivimäki

Chief Engineer

arto.kivimaki@entoprot.com

M.Sc Construction Technology (2000), M.Sc Sport Technology (2021)
25 years of experience in leading development teams, construction and HVAC site projects.
Extensive experience in CAD design: construction, HVAC, electrical, circuit boards. Masters six different programming languages.
Interested in sensor development and data processing, especially biomedical imaging with NIRS spectroscopy.

Markku Taulamo

Board Member, Financing, Business Strategies

Markku Taulamo is a Partner at TT Capital Advisors,  a Co-Founder, Co-Owner, Executive Partner at Futurice, and a Coach at Startup Sauna. He has investment banking background in SEB Enskilda (London, Stockholm, Helsinki) and Co-founder and CEO for Futurice the fastest growing tech company in Finland (Deloitte Fast 50 2008) and 2 x the best place to work in Europe (GPTW 2012 & 2013). After doing cross border investments & M&A transactions for Chinese VCs and Corporate Venturing divisions between China & Finland especially in Cleantech & IT segments, started investing and developing bioreactor projects. Currently R&D development in solving future bio-oil & protein challenges with solutions using zero arable land.

Peter Friis

Board Member, Financing, Business Strategies

Peter Friis is an international Business Manager, Investor, Business Angel, Board professional and Mentor with track record on transformation & profit & performance. From his Financial education and background he has grown to general management with extensive capabilities to carry Profit/Loss responsibility and manage challenging business environment. He is an executer inspiring partners/personnel beyond expectations.

Antti Pellinen

Chairman of the Board of Administrators

Antti Pellinen describes himself being and Entrepreneur and Startup Enthusiast. He is a Managing Partner in Tikura Ltd. Tikura provides a unique set of expertise in the areas of strategy development product, concept and business model development, as well as mobile communications and innovation management. For startup companies we are an active investor with willingness and capabilities to develop the startup into the growth path.

Advisers

Matti Rauman

Chief Technical Advisor

Matti Rauman is an experienced and distinguished technician. He has worked as a service technician in companies providing technology for hospitals and analytic laboratories. The last 27 yrs of his work career Mr. Rauman worked at the University Oulu as a research technician responsible for design, construction and maintenance of research instruments and laboratory devices.

He has been rewarded for his skills and merits. In 2010 he was honoured with The Award for A Master of Technology (Tekniikantaitajan palkinto) by  The Academy of Technical Sciences (Teknillisten Tieteiden Akatemia). Same year The President of Finland granted him the First Class Medal with Gold Crosses of the Order of the White Rose of Finland  (Suomen Valkoisen Ruusun Ritarikunta).