Please introduce yourselves: What does your start-up do?
3-6 billion plastic straws are thrown away every day worldwide. Our reusable glass straws are a sustainable solution for gastronomy and home use. With more than 300 gastronomies using HALM already we are helping to make a massive impact on the environment. With HALM you create no waste, enhance the flavour of your drinks and consume them with style.
How did you come up with an idea and concept? What inspired and motivated you to create this product?
In 2015 we visited Koh Phayam island in Thailand with a group of friends. Whilst we enjoyed the beach life and soaked up the sun, we started to realise how much rubbish was washed up on the beach every day.
We organised a beach cleanup to help the local community make the beautiful beach we were staying on clean again. After a while, we realised that it was not just local community contributing to this problem as many of the items we collected had been brought there from overseas.
We were shocked that nearly every second or third piece of rubbish we picked up was a plastic straw. As we left this location and continued our trip we dug deeper into the research and discovered how big of a problem single-use plastics really is.
What is unique about your business idea and operating model?
So far we are the only reusable solution in the straw market. Our product is 100% produced in Germany and created from sustainable materials. As we target both end consumers and B2B customers as well as the drink industry, there are 3 pillars that our business is built on. At the moment we are the only company worldwide that can produce glass straws in high quantities.
On top of that, we are pledging to give away 50% of our earnings to organisations and companies that tackle the problem of plastic waste.
What were the most significant difficulties you had to overcome while building your start-up?
Finding sustainable materials for the full production chain.
Where do you see yourself and your company in 5 years?
We will have established glass straws as a standard item for gastronomies and will have customers all around the world.
What are your expectations from the NX-FOOD Start-up Shelf programme?
Learn about the perfect placement of our products in outlets like METRO, discover which groups of customers will be interested in them. Our straws are a perfect travel solution, so it would be great to offer a set of for 2 straws in a travel case in the flight magazines.
What are your main milestones and achievements?
Launched in June 2017
Got first 250 gastronomy customers
Replaced 150 million plastic straws in our first year
Became profitable in May 2018
Olga Dome — Business Development
Melissa Steiner — Marketing Social Media
Lena Freitag — Operations Manager
Juli Reinecke — Presse & PR
Dominik Brockbals — Sales Manager
Hannah Cheney — Co-Founder
Sebastian Müller — Founder and Director