5 MINUTES WITH...ALESSIO DANTINO, CO-FOUNDER OF CROWDFOODING

Alessio saw a gap in the market for a crowdfunding platform that would put food and drink innovators on the map. Join us as we talk to him about how he's helping to reshape the food industry through Crowdfooding...

1. What's the biggest lesson you've learnt from starting up Crowdfooding?
I've learnt that it's important to start running a business lean and to not overthink things, just do. It's about speaking to customers as much as possible to understand their biggest needs. What I realised in building Crowdfooding is that there were companies not in the position for either VC or crowdfunding but needed to generate sales and boost their following. We created our Sales Booster product to do just this and we're seeing massive returns in this new approach.

2. What's the one piece of business advice you wish you'd been given?
I wish I'd learnt how to hire well. I was very familiar with the interviewing process but if I’d had someone guiding me to figure that out earlier, I would've built my A team sooner. Without the advice it meant spending a lot of time trying people out and slowly putting the right processes in place to get the best people on board.

3. Was there ever a point when you wanted to give up? 
Building a business is hard but I've also been trying to do it with a smile and I believe that the hard times of building a business are part of the journey.

4. What's been the biggest milestone for the business so far?
I guess it was signing our first crowdfunding campaign - Chocothon - with a collaboration with high profile businesses as partners. I would also definitely say the moment we started pivoting to create our Sales Booster capability was key for us to acknowledge the importance of sales generations for startups and creating real value for them.

5. Who is your inspiration?
Richard Branson. He was the first person in business that I fully related to in terms of his entrepreneurial style and bravery. He doesn’t take himself too seriously and I would say I am somewhat similar in that regard. After watching his documentary, 'Never look down', I felt that he was not only an entrepreneur but someone really willing to live on the edge.

6. What keeps you motivated?
The end goal and the change I want to see in the world is what keeps me motivated. Seeing the changes in what consumers have access to in terms of food - whether that be in quality or more equitable systems - or in other words 'raising the bar' of food products for the masses.

7. What business or brand do you look up to?
The brands we work with at Crowdfooding are trying to change the status quo - these are brands I admire. They are going in the opposite direction to take a new or interesting approach to customers. I would also count Coconut Collaborative, One Water and Seedlip as brands that are emulating this way of doing things.

8. If you weren't doing this, you would be....
Surfing by a beautiful beach! I would definitely be developing my passions for food and tech but maybe in place where I could be more in touch with nature.

www.crowdfooding.co.uk