“One of the main benefits of going to as many events as possible is the amazing people that you meet. I think it’s only positive things that can come from broadening your network.” – Solveiga Pakštaitė – Founder of Mimica
Since winning the Mayor’s Entrepreneur Awards in 2015, Mimica has come very far. With the aim of becoming the global mark of freshness, Solveiga has created ‘Mimica Touch’, a label that shows you whether your food or drink is still fresh.
For the first two years of Mimica, Solveiga was completely grant funded. With help and guidance from a consultant, Solveiga was able to develop her skills in writing up grant funding applications. With this guidance, following graduation, Mimica received funding through the James Dyson Foundation, Shell, the Worshipful Company of Engineers and more.
Solveiga also sought business support through various programmes, including Climate-KIC, Europe’s largest clean-tech accelerator programme. The programme offered 2-day masterclasses across Europe, as well as guidance on achieving business growth.
“The really cool thing about starting a business now is that there is so much access to funding without having to give up any equity within your company.”
“I started thinking about food waste in kind of an unusual way. I was studying industrial design at Brunel University in London and for my final major project I was thinking a lot around visually impaired people,
“I noticed that they didn’t have access to printed expiry dates because they are obviously just visual.”
The initial idea was to create packaging that would gradually decompose at the same rate as its contents but instead built upon that idea and decided to create a small label; Mimica Touch.
“The label is applied by the food manufacturer and it gets activated as soon as it’s applied. The pressure of applying breaks the activator and that starts decaying the gel inside the label. The gel inside the label has been specifically calibrated to experience decay in the same rate as the food that we’re targeting.”
Being a young woman in a heavily male dominated industry does come with its frustrations, Solveiga says.
“There’s a bit of clash of culture in terms of new ideas trying to get into the retail sector. So, I hope that when they see there’s so many new and fresh ideas coming from young women, hopefully they’ll be a bit more open minded.
“I hope that we are changing the industry for good.”
Solveiga’s key piece of advice to fellow entrepreneurs is to make sure you protect your idea.
“When I first applied for a patent, I never imagined I’d still be using it as a useful piece of intellectual property. What it enabled us to do is go out and speak to manufacturers quite safely knowing that that particular idea belongs to the company.”