Nourishing success – the nutrient-rich snack for startups you can drink!
What started as an experiment by two Lithuanian entrepreneurs has grown into a flourishing business – and is now expanding into new markets like the Netherlands. Lukas Laurinavičius and Karolis Basevičius, the founders of Startuper’s Smoothies, have experienced the hectic pace of life as young professionals working in a busy startup environment. They know that creating a business is a truly nerve-racking challenge, and you don’t always have time to eat properly. And it’s not just a concern for business people, but for anyone living a fast-paced lifestyle. That’s why Lukas and Karolis came up with the solution to satisfy the needs of busy professionals – nutrient-rich smoothies you can drink on the go. What’s so different about a Startuper’s Smoothie? It’s a functional snack, exclusively targeted at people working with startups. Let’s find out how they brought their ideas to life.
What does it take to make a great idea?
Startuper’s Smoothies was founded by two friends, Lukas and Karolis, who met during their first year at ISM University of Management and Economics in Lithuania. Karolis Basevičius has been a creator ever since his youth, and has always loved solving problems in unconventional ways. Lukas Laurinavičius is a true entrepreneur who loves innovation and has a passion for efficiency and improvement.
But a startup can’t succeed without a great product – and the pair soon set about developing their ideas for a healthier food drink. Both were inspired by their own experiences at university, when the only snacks they could find during 10-minute breaks between classes were sandwiches, sugary foods and other unhealthy options with low nutritional value. “It made us think – why can’t there be a healthy snack option?”, says Lukas. That’s when their journey to create an eco-friendly smoothie began.
”The name we chose for our business – Startuper’s Smoothies – was no accident,” adds Lukas. Their ambition was to create a nutritious smoothie that would be the first functional snack in Europe specifically aimed at startup communities.
New product, new technology
To develop their innovative, functional snack, co-founders Lukas and Karolis began experimenting as far back as 2017. After a lengthy search for the best combination of taste and nutrition value, a smoothie containing 72 different sea minerals from the USA was developed in collaboration with food scientists at Kaunas University of Technology. According to Lukas, it was vital that the smoothies have a long shelf life of 18 months, because young professionals simply don’t have time to worry about expiry dates. Achieving such a long shelf life is difficult to achieve without adding sugar or preservatives to the smoothie – which is why Startuper’s Smoothies enlisted the help of a new technology.
According to Dr. Raimondas Narkevičius of the Food Institute at Kaunas University of Technology, the technological process used to create the smoothie enables “preservative-free production, which has excellent microbiological safety indicators and a really long shelf life. The composition of the product is well balanced; it ensures high nutritional value for adults as well as an excellent taste.”
According to the founders, Startuper’s Smoothies are the first step in changing the eating habits of young professionals. “This smoothie allows busy young professionals to take care of themselves, as one smoothie can fill your stomach for about 3-4 hours,” explains Lukas. “It also contains 19% of the recommended daily amount of magnesium and other minerals, which come from the sea salt.”
Startuper’s Smoothies come in four flavours, each of them packed with nutrient-rich ingredients such as natural organic yogurt, fruits, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, vitamins and minerals, and plenty of high-quality vegan protein and prebiotic fibre.
Dreaming of foreign markets
Startuper’s Smoothies has now been on the road to success for three and a half years, two of which have been dedicated to perfecting the smoothie recipe. After enjoying success within Lithuania’s thriving startup scene, Startuper’s Smoothies began to gain a foothold in foreign markets, mainly through trade shows. “Our smoothies are already popular among the Lithuanian tech crowd; now they’re also being sold in Ireland, Estonia and Belgium. Supply deals have been signed with Brazil, Peru, Japan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE”, says Lukas. The latest target markets that Startuper’s Smoothies have set their sights on are Germany, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland. According to the company’s founders, these markets value high quality, eco-friendly products. In particular, there is a great deal of potential to expand in the Netherlands, due to the size of the market.
Startuper’s Smoothies creators use the slogan Nutrition for ambition! They believe that an empty stomach – or one that’s full of junk food – won’t put a young professional on the right track towards growth and productivity. According to Karolis and Lukas, Rule Number 1 for ambitious startup professionals is to get your nutrition right.
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