Interview with Marek Benda from Kannabi – milk alternative from canopy seeds

Kannabi is a Slovak start-up that offers a vegan milk alternative without additives, made primarily from canopy seeds, cashew nuts, vanilla, and coconut sugar. On top of great taste, Kannabi promises to boost your immune system, lower your cholesterol, as well as to beat those sugar cravings.

Kannabi was created by two young Slovaks, Marek Benda and Daniela Jánošová. Because they chose crowdfunding to fund their project, we decided to ask them couple of questions regarding their experience with creating crowdfunding campaign that is now live on crowdfunding platform HITHIT. We have already made our pledge, and now you can too.



CIF: For starters, tell us something about yourself and Kannabi.

MB: We are a start-up firm that brought Canopy Drink to the market. Our product is a plant-based, healthy, and tasty alternative to cow’s milk. I set up the firm together with my girlfriend who is vegan. I, on the other hand, am fascinated with canopy and the many ways it can be used. We combined our interest and created a product that was missing on Slovak market.

CIF: Do you have previous experience with food industry?

MB: We are newbies to food industry, we learn as we go.

CIF: Why did you pick crowdfunding? Where do you see the benefits?

MB: For us crowdfunding is the perfect way to acquire capital to get us started. Also, thanks to the campaign we can reach a wide audience and we do not have to deal with an investor. We are independent, and we do not have adjust the development of our company based on someone else’s preferences.

CIF: What resources did you use while preparing the crowdfunding campaign?

MB: I have visited some seminars, and I have read articles and guides for crowdfunding, but most of all, I have looked at successful crowdfunding campaigns. I was trying to figure out in what they differ from unsuccessful ones, and to find some inspiration.

CIF: Based on what did you choose your crowdfunding platform?

MB: In Slovakia and Czech Republic there are not that many to choose from. We picked the biggest one.

CIF: Are you planning to use crowdfunding for something else than funding?

MB: Of course, as I said, it is a good way of reaching people that could be interested in our product, be it the consumer or the stores that will sell the Conopy Drink.

CIF: How long did it take you to prepare the campaign and how much is taken up by the maintenance?

MB: It took approximately 20 days. If we were to do it again, I would double the time. Properly prepared campaign is fundamental, and now I see that our campaign has certain deficiencies that I have not noticed before, so now I would do it little bit differently.

CIF: Is the campaign developing according to your expectations?

MB: As the product is made from canopy seeds, it has a canopy leaf in the logo, so Facebook and Instagram have banned our ads because of absurd rules that hurt our product. Therefore, the campaign is not developing according to our expectations. However, we are not giving up and we are trying to come up with new ways of promoting our product without ads on Facebook and Insta. We sincerely hope that when the time runs out, we will have at least 100% J.

CIF: Lastly, do you have any recommendations for crowdfunding newbies?

MB: It is important to think everything through and not to rush things. Preparation is fundamental.  It is helpful to get in touch with portals that would be interested in writing about you beforehand. Also, it’s good to contact authors of similar successfully finished campaigns. These people have specific experiences and can offer advice that you won’t find in any guides. We have contacted an author of a very successful vegan project, and she gave as advice and contacts that could come in handy.


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