Infuse Infuse 10 December 2019 | Page 13

Image courtesy of Kara Landau Kara in the test kitchens developing the Uplift Gut Happy Cookies. © Dietitian Connection What’s your vision for Uplift Food? What are some of your takeaways from running a business? My vision for Uplift Food is for it to be the leading prebiotic brand globally and to get Uplift Food’s prebiotic-rich snacks in every airport across the globe. Ultimately, I want to help people support their gut and be their happiest self. I think it’s important to share with people that it's not all fun. I spend a lot of time on operations and finance, and product development is just a small sliver of my work. If you’re thinking about doing the same, it’s important to be ready for what's really involved. Tell us more about the early days of Uplift Food. Hire people that balance out your strengths. For example, if you're a creative, bring on someone operationally-focused. You need a diversity of skill sets to run a successful business. Nothing has happened overnight. I've been plugging away for many years. In 2016, I moved from New York to Sydney for a year, and started creating the formulation for my first product, The Daily Uplifter. And I began exploring packaging partners, ingredients suppliers and the manufacturers, and securing the right vendors. In 2017 I actually moved back to NYC when I met my (now) husband, but still felt that Australia was the right place for me to launch the brand, so in the summer of 2018 I went back home for a few months to prepare fully, and in March 2018 I launched in Australia, and then a few months later I launched in the US. It took over a year to get my first product off the ground. 13 Mondelez recently invested in Uplift Food. How did that come about? I got invited to be part of Food X, one of the top food accelerators in New York two weeks after launching in Australia. I basically jumped on a plane and started the accelerator two days later. And it was through that accelerator that I connected with the innovation team at Mondelez International. At the time they didn’t have a venture arm. article continues overleaf... Infuse | December 2019