FRENVI – friendly environment, that´s the name of the start-up founded by the two master graduates Abhinav Ramachandran (29) and Phanindra Gopala Krishna (28). Wir-Online Editor Jana Ladwig meets the two of them and learns more about what the name is about.„We have to make this happen and we will help the European market to take the first steps towards completely going waste free!“
It is this vision that unites the two master graduates Abhinav Ramachandran and Phanindra Gopala Krishna. Both are originally from India and came to Germany for their studies. Phanindra tells, that he always wanted to establish an own company but as an engineer he was missing the economic knowledge. Therefore he started to study International Business and Engineering at the SRH Heidelberg. Abhinav and Phanindra met during their studies in Germany. During the Entrepreneurship Program, which is part of the Master`s program in International Business and Engineering, the two of them thought about how to implement this vision. Together they founded FRENVI, a start-up that produces edible spoons. They were able to directly apply the content they had learned during their studies. Especially the focus on International Business Law helped them to understand that it is not so complex to start a start-up in Germany as an immigrant.
It all started with a problem that the two Indian founders couldn`t let go of: WASTE.
WASTE, which represents a burden for the state, the municipalities but also a great danger for animals. The two of them thought about what they could do to solve the problem of WASTE. During their research, they found out that one of the top polluters is disposable cutlery. This is due, for example, to the fact that plastic spoons are much more difficult to collect for recycle than, for example, a water bottle.
„There is no deposit system, it has no value. The value of disposable cutlery is only available until the person has finished their meal. After that it has no value,“ says Abhinav. This is how the idea of replacing disposable products came about, because according to Phanindra it is not only plastic that poses a problem, wooden cutlery and other PLA- based alternatives also produce waste that ends up lying around and leaves users with a bad after-taste. The two former students of the SRH faced the challenge to develop cutlery that does not produce any garbage. This idea was born in August 2018. What about this plan now?
Abhinav and Phanindra proudly present me their Ecobites. Edible spoons are completely vegan and tasty to eat. But don’t worry if you are full with your meal, you can also dispose in the nature, where the edible spoon can self-compost within 25 to 30 days and enrich the soil. They consist exclusively of cereals and natural flavours inspired by Indian, American and German cuisine. Flavours such as spicy mint, barbecue, curry wurst, cookie or cocoa are intended to enhance the dining experience and at the same time provide a sustainable alternative to disposable cutlery. But don’t worry, the coffee won’t suddenly taste like Cookie or chocolate through the spoon. When the spoons are used, they do not give off any taste. Only when you eat the cookie-like spoons themself, the aromas come to expression. But one thing is certain: you can’t taste any cereals. The spoons remain stable for up to 30 minutes, even in warm dishes.
At the moment the spoons are still handmade, which is very time-consuming. But right now, they are working on a machine with which they can produce the spoons mechanically. They are supported by the EXIST scholarship, which they have received since August 1st of this year. This is a support programme of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, which supports innovative and technology-oriented start-up projects. The Gründerinstitut of the SRH Hochschule Heidelberg in which the start-up is based also provides support during the development phase. As a platform on which there are many people with expertise from a wide variety of fields, the two founders can validate their ideas and obtain feedback.
Through the feedback and the acceptance of the EXIST scholarship Abhinav and Phanindra seem self-confident. At the moment they are working full time on their idea and have a lot of plans they want to implement. In addition to further developing the spoons, they are also working on a holistic solution that includes other cutlery and single use products like stirrer, straw etc. A Do-it-yourself concept is also planned for the finger food segment, which will enable the customer to be creative in presenting the food for the events or house parties, themselves where DIY kit includes a suitable recipe with contrasting flavours of Edible spoon. So there are still some challenges for the founders. They want to make it onto the market as soon as possible. From 2021, the German government plans to ban disposable plastics. The two master’s graduates want to support the government in realising this plan. Therefore, the idea shall be ready for the market by then in order to be able to offer a sustainable alternative.
We are curious to see when we can try our take-away coffee including a cookie stirrer!
Please send them your opinion for your favourite flavours, suggestions or questions directly to their mail: firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com
FRENVI is a start-up company that aims to make human activities more sustainable and to create a better environment for future generations. To this end, they want to offer society waste-preventing solutions. FRENVI wants to inspire people to take social responsibility and help them to make more sustainable decisions in everyday life. The two founders come from the developing country India and therefore know how much the world looks at countries like Germany, which give examples and impulses for a more sustainable life. That is why FRENVI wants to help people in Germany to influence the world through sustainable decisions and to follow this example.
For more information, go to the website www.frenvi.de .