Take one step at a time

Sprout specialize in green consumer products that have a dual function

Please introduce yourself and your StartupSproutto our readers!
My name is Michael Stausholm and I am the founder and CEO of Sprout. Sprout is a 3 year old startup and we specialize in green consumer products that have a dual function. We are behind the world´s only sustainable pencil that can be planted after use. Once it is too short to write with, you give it a new life by planting it and it grows into herbs, vegetables, flowers or even trees. The Sprout pencil is patented and has a dissolvable capsule in the end with seeds. It consists only of natural materials and the wood is from sustainably harvested trees.
Apart from the pencils we also sell business cards and other cards with seeds that sprout into flowers.

How did you get the idea to Sprout?
The idea comes from a group of students on MIT, Boston. They got the task: Design a sustainable office products of the future.

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
Eventhough the response was overwhelmingly good – everyone seemed to love our pencils- it is still hard work to build up a business. To ensure a healthy economy, in the beginning we only accepted orders that were pre-paid, which turned out to be a good decision. We have managed to nearly double over turnover 3 years in a row. Our challenge right now is to fight the many seed pencil copies that pop up, mostly in China.

Who is your target audience?
The majority of our clients are businesses and organizations that get their logos engraved and use the pencils for green giveaways. We have clients like Disney, IKEA, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Deutsche Bahn and many more.

What is the USP of your startup?
We are the only ones that make plantable pencils and color pencils, we have the patent and have unique products. The Sprout pencil is a symbol of sustainability because it gets a new life instead of ending up in the bin.

Can you describe a typical workday of you?
I travel a lot, visiting clients around the world, but when I am at the head office in Copenhagen, I spend my time on meetings, answering emails and orders and planning what´s next in my business.

Where do you see yourself and your startup Sprout in five years?
We are a world leader within sprouting, sustainable products with a second life.

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
1. Take one step at a time. There is so many things to do and challenges to solve, and it can get overwhelming. Make a list every day of your top priorities and solve them one by one.
2. Be aware of micro management. You want to do it all by yourself but as the company grows, it is simply not possible.
3. Be selective when setting your team. It is so important that you hire the right people with the right mindset.

More information you will find here

Thank you Michael Stausholm for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

Sabine Elsässer

Sabine Elsässer ist 39 Jahre jung, Gründerin und leitende Redakteurin der StartupValleyNews. Ihre Karriere startete sie in verschiedenen internationalen Direktvertriebsunternehmen. Seit 2007 ist sie hauptberuflich als Journalistin tätig. Während dieser Zeit lernte sie die Startup-Szene kennen und schätzen, was Sie dazu bewogen hat mit StartupValleyNews ein internationales Startup Magazin aufzubauen!

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