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Freshy - Think Global!

Publication Date: Apr 28, 2017

Article posted by Anatoliy Gatt, co-founder of Freshy.

Global thinking, an international scale of business beyond the local market, is our main focus deeply integrated in the DNA of our company.

Freshy is a growing business founded in 2016. Our startup journey started from the JAYE (Junior Achievement Young Enterprise) Startup Programme where we competed with twelve teams of young and talented entrepreneurs. After winning the National finals receiving the title of a “Startup of the Year” we participated in the JA Europe Enterprise Challenge in Bucharest in July 2016. Over 90 students named “Startup of the Year”, in their respective countries, competed for a number of prizes and titles. The JAEEC was an opportunity to learn a lot about the European startup scene and to meet very motivated and talented people from all around the world. Furthermore, it gave us a HUGE platform to practice our pitch and further validate our idea and business plan.

The feeling of being recognised and praised for our hard work is priceless. Having it done on the international scale adds even more value to it. After returning from Bucharest we got our first seed funding. It helped us to get started and for the next two months we were working very hard to turn vision and product from the paper into reality. In two months we got solid prototype and did a lot of customer development with stakeholders. Shortly after that, we were selected to be part of the MITA Innovation Hub YouStartIT#1 accelerator programme through which we received additional seed funding of €22,000 which helped us achieve our marketing and IT infrastructure targets. Being focused on the product development, we did not give up on our “Global Thinking” theme. We enrolled in ClimateLaunchpad, the world’s cleantech business competition, organised by the very notorious accelerator Climate-KIC.

Shortly after, we were selected to represent Malta at the international finals in Tallinn, Estonia in October 2016. Over 90 teams were competing for the title of the most sustainable business idea. This was a new level for us, a lot more competition, a lot more ideas - some were ridiculously good. It was a phenomenal opportunity for us to, once again, declare ourselves as the next big thing in the FoodTech sector, locally and internationally. Also, the networking opportunity has been absolutely priceless. Talking to like-minded people who want to change the world as much as we do was the most plausible experience on the ClimateLaunchpad.

Upon getting back to Malta we had final designs of our whole platform and backend at 80% readiness level. We continued to be determined in our “Global Thinking” strategy which led us to participating in Startup Open organised by GEN. We were selected in the Top 10 out of 1018 startups from 101 countries. Due to that CNBC featured us as one of the hottest startups in the world. The feature made a lot of noise, both locally and internationally, leading to a lot of introductions to potential investors, partners and mentors.

There are essentially three major things that we took out of our international journey that are worth sharing:

Firstly, get out of your geographical boundaries, there is a lot to explore. Such opportunities had opened a world to us with a clear path to international expansion of our business. Secondly, whatever place one takes in the competition, it is still a lot of exposure both locally and internationally. It will certainly lead to expanding your network and opening doors for new opportunities. Thirdly, going through such experiences can make your team united, stronger and mature which is more than anything you can experience in the local setup by just sitting in the office and working on the product.

We certainly will continue our journey with the “Global Thinking” strategy in mind, as it has proven itself to work perfectly for us. We strongly encourage other startups to take a shot with this approach, when building their company, never stopping halfway. Try not to be demotivated when your startup is not best in the eyes of judges, it is just a game. Keep focused, keep motivated and move forward.​