This time two very charming guys from Düsseldorf, Germany, are spilling the beans on their tasty start-up „Be Bananas“ and the life as founders. Read more about these two optimists – Lars and Tim – and their delicious products.
Guys, thanks a lot for meeting up with ALU Magazine in Düsseldorf. We are thrilled to talk to you and hear everything about your company “Be Bananas” and your future plans. So, “Be Bananas”, what does that mean? How did this name arise?
We were both sure that we need a company name which includes “banana.” Unfortunately “bananas” was already taken. So we tried a lot and liked “be bananas” after a very, very long brainstorming.
You founded your start-up during a gap year in 2013 after you have finished your Bachelors and travelled to Australia. When did you have the idea of having your own company for the first time?
Lars: After our first slice of banana bread.
Tim: At first we talked a lot about the market potential of banana bread. After writing our first business plan in Australia we knew that there is a big potential.
How sure were you that there is a market for your product?
Tim: We talked a lot to Germans in Australia and everyone loved banana bread. Furthermore the Australian market is very similar to the German. And in Australia banana bread was the SH*T!
So you were quite convinced of your idea? Or only very brave or even naive?
Lars: Looking back it was a mix of everything. But it was the right decision.
How long did it take from the idea to the first product?
Tim: About a year. We knew nothing about baking. First we locked ourselves up in our kitchen and tried over 100 recipes. After that we had to build an infrastructure regarding production, logistics and so on. This took more time then we expected.
What was the biggest challenge for you?
Tim: To convince our parents! (both are laughing)
Lars: At first it was very difficult to get familiar with “real” business. Before starting “be bananas” we only knew the university and theory of business – and there is quite a big difference to the reality.
Did you have any mentors or did you meet people who were crucial for your success?
Lars: Our supplier, Roland Schüren, was a big help, especially at the beginning.
Any recommendation you have for (young) people who are planning a start-up?What should they be aware of?
Lars: Probably networking. I would suggest that you should know as many people as possible. There is always someone out there who has a solution for your current problem.
Tim: What should they be aware of? Puhhh. This may sound easy, but don’t lose heart. Every entrepreneur has hard times.
What are the future plans? Next big steps?
Lars: To infect Germany with our banana bread. Like a virus that spreads out of Düsseldorf.
Cross my heart – would you do it again?
Tim: Like I said: ”don’t lose heart.” There are always hard times, but in the end this is your little baby.
So we will hear (even more) about “be bananas” in 2016?
Lars: We do our best.
And thanks to Web 2.0 we can order it directly via your online shop too. Thank you for these great and inspiring insights – good luck boys!