a Matcha made in heaven
After 7 years in banking I decided to leave my job in banking without a clear-cut goal at the end of the tunnel. I jumped out of the corporate race to go travelling for 4 months and now I’m working with a co-founder on two businesses that I hope will make a difference.
How did your partnership come about?
Antonio (my co-founder) and I met at Escape the City during an alumni event for their Startup Tribe courses that we had both attended. Antonio was working on Goen Matcha (selling Matcha to the UK community) and I was working on Tomoliving.com (a rental property platform linking users through social network).
We both have skill sets that help each other’s businesses to grow: Antonio is a great developer and the knowledge he has in regards to Tech is what I was really looking for; whilst Antonio wanted someone who could link the value and culture of his Matcha to the customers.
What have been the challenges?
Everything but it’s been amazing. I’m learning a lot which I might not have been able to if I was still in an IT support role in a bank. From looking to make the supply chain more efficient, finding ways to get media coverage, getting information on trademarking, to researching about the rental market in the UK and US. It’s all been new experiences and really interesting.
What’s been the most rewarding part so far?
Getting media and online attention has been great. We’ve been featured in the Cambridge News, and on eConsultancy for having an innovative website on how to make Matcha - I never thought Goen Matcha would be featured for having an innovative website! Also, the feedback from our customers has been overwhelmingly good so far and it’s what keeps us going.
How do you hope the future will be?
For Goen Matcha, we are making sure that our customers understand they are receiving quality Matcha with our beautiful packaging inspired by wabi-sabi — which means transient and imperfect. We hope people trying out our Matcha will really enjoy the flavour and taste, as well as how it’s been packaged.
For Tomo Living, once it is launched I need people to try it out and provide feedback on what they would like to see developed. The platform helps friends who are renting out their place and friends who are renting a friend’s place to learn from each other. Whether that be about mortgages, making sure the immersion heater is working, or saving up for a deposit for a new property.
What’s it like having a co-founder?
Having a co-founder is how I imagine a marriage to be: it takes two to tango so you have to make it work, and put in the work, as much as the other co-founder.
1. Don’t be afraid
It’s ok to fail, but make sure you’re not going into massive debt. It’s the learning process and the experience which matters. For me, I feel younger as it’s helping me to experiment, which is what I did as a teenager.
2. Connections are your key to success
We’ve been really lucky with the people around us. They have been super helpful. Don’t forget to appreciate their help and also to help them out.
3. It’s ok to talk about your ideas
There are going to be differences in the execution so don’t be too worried about people taking your ideas, although it is really helpful to know what your competition are doing what’s right and wrong.