#FounderSecrets | Andre Sierek, Founder of BitterLiebe
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March 29 2019

In a few words..

Who are you, what does your company do and how did it all start?

I’m Andre, CEO and Co-Founder of BitterLiebe.com. With BitterLiebe (German for BitterLove) we are creating a range of food products using bitter substances to bring back the power of bitter herbs! Due to the industrialisation of the food sector, most of the bitter compounds and flavours have been removed from our foods, meaning humans are no longer used to bitter tastes - we want to change that!

 

What was the most challenging aspect for you personally and your team?

As a German startup in the food supplements sector, there is a real lack of support and advice about laws and restrictions. As soon as you launch your product, you’re bombarded with warnings and grilled by lawyers - a constant fight between David and Goliath. Finding the right legal partner for this situation was the hardest challenge.

 

What are the things you wish you had known before?

To be prepared for the immediate attack of competing companies and authorities! It’s essential to be aware of this and to be on top of legal restrictions.

 

What is the most important thing you learned?

Managing a start-up is the equivalent of a roller coaster ride. One moment you’re up at the top and the next moment you’re all the way down. The upside of this principle is that there will be a high following every low. Don’t give up, crack on and keep a positive mindset. There is a solution to every problem, no matter how hopeless the situation might seem.

 

What was your biggest success?

To reach €100,000 in sales after only 14 weeks of launching.

 

What are the next steps for your company?

Our goal is to keep pushing our brand and its message to ensure that everyone knows the power of herbs! We are planning bigger online-marketing campaigns, extending our team and expanding to other countries in Europe (France, Switzerland, Italy and probably Great Britain).

 

Where do you see yourself in the future?

As a market leader in the sector for bitter substances in Europe, selling our products online as well as in stores.
 

Which advice would you give others in your position?

To be a founder sounds cooler than it actually is in certain stages. You will always go through phases where you struggle and wonder how to carry on. Keep going and do not give up! Sounds simple but to really have the strength to put it in action is a massive challenge.

 

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