Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Yianni Mamtsaderis, Founder and CEO of savepod, located in Commack, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our mission is to eliminate harmful waste caused by coffee consumption. We've built the world's first "Pod-Maker." A small device that sits next to a "Keurig Compatible" brewer and allows users to quickly and easily turn any fresh coffee into pods compatible with their existing brewer. Currently, 17 Billion "K-Cup" coffee pods are used each year which end up in our landfills and oceans. Our goal is to eliminate 1 Billion pods from being used each and every year by 2025 and 3-5 Billion each year by 2027. Our customer is anyone who owns a single-serve brewer and wants to eliminate plastic waste, save money, or drink better-tasting coffee.
Tell us about yourself
I started noticing how popular these coffee pods were getting about 4 years ago. It seemed like they took up most of the coffee aisle in most stores. I also started to think about how wasteful and expensive they are. About 3 years ago, I had the idea of a "Pod-Maker" that would allow users to never have to buy or waste a plastic pod again. When I had this idea, I felt a strong responsibility to bring it to the world. When the pandemic hit in early 2020, I had so much free time, so I started writing the patent. As I got further into the process, it became clearer how much of a need there was for this product. What motivates me everyday is the impact I know savepod can have on the world from a sustainability and personal standpoint. Not only will people feel guilt-free about their morning coffee, but they will save significant money and drink better-tasting coffee.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment to date was launching a very successful Kickstarter campaign. After 30 days on Kickstarter, we pre-sold over $210,000 worth of savepod to 3,400+ people in all 50 States and Canada. These pre-orders alone will eliminate approximately 10 million plastic coffee pods from ending up in our waste systems in 2023.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest things must be setbacks, rejection, judgment, and pressure. Business owners are under so much pressure, and the discipline to stick with it is very high. We often only see the successes and glorious moments of an entrepreneur. However, the stress, disappointment, and heartbreak involved in starting a new company are often overlooked. There is also tremendous financial risk and stress involved as most business owners cannot pay themselves early.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Make sure there is a real problem you're solving (interview strangers).
- Start small and scrappy. Do most of the work yourself in the beginning instead of paying others to do it for you. (you'll learn so much).
- Keep the big vision and mission in mind, as you will want to give up almost every day. There needs to be a real purpose behind what you're doing, or else you won't go the distance.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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