Munich Startup: Who are you and what do you do? Please introduce yourselves!
Mingagreens: We’re three friends who have played tennis together for several years, which means we had only been involved in recreational interests. The pandemic meant we were only able to meet up online, which quickly led to the idea to start a project together.
All three of us are fathers, which is how we quickly got to talking about health, culinary delights and eventually microgreens. We would have liked to have launched with aquaponics in the field of urban/vertical farming, but the situation with vacant spaces in Munich led to us to smaller scale cultivation.
We quickly got started with our first microgreens and were able to get several organic supermarkets on board with our product in the first year. And that’s exactly what makes Mingagreens special! It’s not just a high-quality, organically certified product, but also an extremely diverse team with different strengths.
Gernot is our key man for microgreens. With a PhD in biotechnology, he provides a wealth of experience and a feel for details to make our products unique. Florian is the person with the biggest network as a former physical therapist for FC Bayern München and now the chief physical therapist of the Olympic Training Center. In collaboration with his patients in his own practice, new ideas for Mingagreens and successful partnerships are constantly emerging. He also plays the devil’s advocate and challenges Gernot and Thomas at the right moment when it comes to procurement and business development. And last but not least, Thomas, the management consultant, supports the structures, processes and vision of Mingagreens.
“We’re solving a culinary delight problem”
Munich Startup: What problem is your startup solving?
Mingagreens: We’re solving a culinary delight problem. For most of our customers, microgreens are a completely new product, so we’re filling that gap in the world of culinary enjoyment. On top of that, we’re able to offer local products in Munich and the surrounding area instead of purchasing them from near or distant countries.
In the future, we would like to get additional microfarmers on board with us in Germany and have them grow and sell these tasty products in their regions in order to downscale logistics chains and work sustainability. We’re currently developing a suitable modular system in order to access local infrastructure as well.
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Mingagreens: It’s true, they’ve been around ever since vegetables have existed. It’s just that we’ve never been so mindful of the food we eat as we have been in recent years.
Munich Startup: What have been your three biggest challenges so far?
A) Acquiring customers in the food service industry during the pandemic – impossible!
B) Manual processes as sales increase – the product is important to us and not automation.
C) Getting to know each other on a professional level and understanding how we work together best beyond the tennis court.
Successful collaboration with organic supermarkets
Munich Startup: How is business going?
Mingagreens: We’re very satisfied with how business has been going since our founding in February 2021. Sales only really got going when we started collaborating with regional organic supermarkets because the food service industry lay dormant. We now have a monthly turnover of 15,000 euros and see the possible growth potential with microgreens as well as other food products and services.
Munich Startup: What do you think about Munich as a startup location?
Mingagreens: Aside from Berlin, Munich is probably the most important startup location in Germany. There are so many companies and startups that you can quickly communicate with and that you can also embrace opportunities with. We’re very happy to have launched our business here.
Munich Startup: Risk or security?
Mingagreens: Both, but isn’t that the case for every company!? We’re aware of the potential risks, but we’re also highly motivated to counter them and not give them a chance.