Alver Golden Chlorella will reduce animal protein and make a large positive environmental impact globally. This unique product is effectively taking micro-algae from a complement to an easy-to-use daily ingredient that will improve both our health and carbon-footprint.
Name: Alver Golden Chlorella
Location: Chardonne, Vaud, Switzerland
Product / Service Offering: Healthy, tasty and sustainable foods made with Golden Chlorella microalgae
Founder Interviewed: Majbritt Byskov-Bridges
Other Key Management Team Members: Mine Uran and Nina Müller
This article is part of our Women Entrepreneurs Spotlight Series featuring female entrepreneurs and their companies. We hope these founders’ interviews will inspire and motivate you as you undertake your own entrepreneurial journey.
Tell us a little about yourself with a focus on what motivates you.
I started Alver Golden Chlorella due to frustration with the poor offer of “sustainable funds” in the banking world. After meeting Mine Uran, an opportunity to build a sustainable company from the bottom-up presented itself. I took the risk and have full confidence in Mine’s expertise and strategical vision to make Golden Chlorella a global brand. As an ingredient, this product will reduce animal protein and make a large positive environmental impact globally.
When did you establish your company and where did the idea originate?
I met Mine Uran at the Women’s International Networking (WIN) Event in Rome in 2012. Three years later, our paths crossed again when I was researching sustainable funds and specifically on a mandate to find an alternative meat company for a client.
I contacted Mine, Head of Protein Research and Development for advice. She had just returned from being invited to speak at the White House on the topic of Food Security. Shortly after, Mine discovered Golden Chlorella, which is the most disruptive protein source Mine has found to date. Algae are known for their rich nutritional benefits but have not been accepted as an easy source of food or ingredient because of its green color and strong algae taste. Golden Chlorella is innovative and disruptive due to its naturally neutral color and taste, making this a game-changing ingredient in the food industry.
What need or needs does your company seek to fill for its customers?
Golden Chlorella can easily be added to all foods without disrupting consumers’ eating or cooking habits. This unique product is effectively taking micro-algae from a complement to an easy-to-use daily ingredient that will improve both our health and carbon-footprint.
What is the one thing that sets your company apart from its competitors?
Golden Chlorella is truly distinctive and innovative because of its neutral taste and lovely golden color. This has been achieved through a natural fermentation process. It is vegan, 100% natural, gluten and lactose free.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while getting your company up and running, and how did you overcome it?
Our knowledge lies in the research and development of creating finished vegan high protein products with Golden Chlorella. Production of these products is outsourced. We manage the brand, marketing and sales. We would like to have better control over our raw-material and are therefore looking to bring the production of Golden Chlorella to Switzerland. This is new technology and takes time to find the right partners and funding.
Are there resources you have utilized that other founders might find compelling or useful?
The canton de Vaud has much to offer. We have received financial and business advice from Speco, InnoVaud, FIT, and Platinn. Three years of coaching was provided by Genilem. Switzerland has a lot to offer in many different sectors.
What steps have you taken to secure funding for your company and what, if anything, would you do differently if you had to start over?
We did a successful pre-sales crowdfunding and are now entering our second round of financing.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your company?
Alver Golden Chlorella is one of the 30 startups selected for the 2018 program of Kickstart Accelerator.
Are you familiar with other Women-led startups? If so, we would like to hear from you. Tell us about them in the comments below!