Inês Góis it’s an IE University Alumni who did the MIM as well as the Venture Lab, she is the founder of “Detox in a Box,” a company focused on providing companies with healthy drink options for their employees plus a 3D printed blender. After its foundation in 2018, the company that started as part of the IE Venture Lab is now in Portugal getting ready for its official launch this year.
It is difficult to find time to be healthy and feed the body with good natural food instead of energy drinks and industrial snacks. Detox in a Box was designed to help people, by providing the easiest and fastest way of consuming fresh fruits and vegetables at the workplace. Ines, the founder, understood that there was a need from busy professionals to find a healthy, fast and convenient ways to consume veggies and fruits, so she looked for an alternative to fulfill that need and that is how Detox in a Box was born. The idea behind this project is to make employees healthier, more productive and happier.
1) How do you remember your time as an IE student?
My academic background is Industrial Engineering, which, at least at my previous university is not only a very different subject from the MIM but also taught in a very different way. IE showed me a whole new reality in which people are expected to engage in conversations and actively participate in class; at IE the experience goes beyond studying and attending classes; it is more than that. I saw the real value in the connections made, the challenges of working on multicultural workgroups with people coming from various backgrounds and all the activities that are included in the IE universe. Working close with people from so many nationalities was without a doubt an enriching and learning experience. IE pushes you to get out of the comfort zone and meet new people.
At IE, you do many group works, which allows you to constantly practice your communication skills, to present ideas effectively, to gain public speaking abilities and to create the best presentations. If you are lucky to have great groups to work with, as I had, you can create great work and really practice skills that I believe will have practical use in the future. The last semester, however, was the one I learned the most about myself. Starting the venture lab was a fun challenge but I had no idea at the time it would make me fall in love with entrepreneurship. For the first time, I was working on an idea from scratch and it felt great. Brainstorming ideas and the whole process of iteration was something I really enjoyed. I felt the difference between studying and working for something that is mine.
2) What motivated you to start this project?
Having the chance to work on the Venture Lab made me understand that the motivation I felt while working on my own idea was very different from the one I had before while working for a company. I felt it was more meaningful. I guess was this feeling that led me to pursue starting this project.
Before coming to IE I worked as a consultant. I used to be rushing from client to client every day with no time to have breakfast, I would have a fast 30 min lunch normally in a gas station or in the car and then some fast energy drinks and packed snacks when I had the time. This led to a stressful life in which I started feeling unhealthy both physically and mentally. I guess this is where the idea for Detox in a Box came from – how can we include healthy food in our day if we have a very busy one? If people spend most of their time at the workplace, if we can have healthier food around, we will be able to live a healthier lifestyle and therefore be more productive, happier and overall have a better day today with results showing both in our personal and professional life.
3)What is “Detox in a Box”? What is the next step to keep growing?
Detox in a Box is the easiest and most convenient way to consume fruits and vegetables. It delivers you freshly cut fruits and vegetables in a cup ready to blend into a delicious smoothie, in addition to an easy to use blender that allows users to attach the cup directly, blend and drink it. This means one cup for all the process. No need to wash or cut the fruits, clean the cup, none of this – just the pleasure of drinking a 100% natural smoothie. The best part, you don’t have to trust that its 100% natural smoothie. The juice components are nothing but fruits and vegetables.
The goal is to offer this service to companies so that they can have a healthy environment in which smoothies are part of the perks offered. Consuming healthy food at work helps to boost productivity, motivates employees and is a good strategy to retain talent. Since people spend so many hours in the office, there should be options that allow people to follow a healthy lifestyle. When a company subscribes, we put our blender in their office (normally in the kitchen space) and then deliver the fresh cups twice a week.
4) What is the most important thing that you will like to transmit with this initiative?
The most important message that I would like to transmit is that healthy eating is more important than just getting a slim and fit body. What we eat fuels our body and influences both our physical health and mental health. In Portugal alone 60% of the people are at risk of becoming obese, is the country with the highest depression rate in Europe and 13% of the people burn out every year. Fruits and vegetable consumption can lower these statistics. By having a healthy diet people will feel better, motivativated and will be more productive.
People live most of their lives at work, and snacks represent 25% of the daily food consumption on average – so it’s important to do it in a healthy way. If we want people’s brains to work at their top performance this should be helped by facilitating the access to healthy food in the workplace.
Detox in a box is easy, healthy and honest! A solution that people need in their offices to make their days honestly better.
5) Which challenges have you faced?
I started the project with a very good friend of mine, Yaneisha, while we were at IE. However, she, unfortunately, couldn’t continue this journey with me when I moved back to Portugal so I started looking for another co-founder. Apparently is not that easy to convince your friends to leave their stable jobs to join my idea. Since I couldn’t find anyone to join from the start I launched the company alone and have been working as solo founder since January. This is for me a challenge as I prefer working with people around me and I started doing everything myself – from marketing and sales to preparing the cups and delivering them. My family and friends have been amazing supporters but is always lonely to work alone. However, I believe that soon I will find the perfect team to join me and continue the good work. Apart from this, sales in B2B is for me the most challenging part. Since the decision process requires more than one person to approve it makes the process of subscribing a new client longer. Also, is more complicated to acquire new customers and reach companies with the solution.
6) How did your experience at IE during the MIM help you to develop this project?
Before coming to IE I never learned much about entrepreneurship. So first of all, the contact with the concept, learning about innovative business models and understanding better how online businesses work was very important for me. Courses like digital marketing, building an online business, for example, were key to see examples of companies doing similar ideas. In addition, I joined the global immersion week in Silicon Valley. The contact we had with startup founders and seeing the excitement they had talking about their projects, how proud they were and their energy made me realize that I also wanted that. I believe exposure to a different reality – in this case, the world of entrepreneurship, was very important for me to “take the leap” into this project. I believe the whole year was transformative and is the combination of all we learned, venture lab for pushing you to start thinking on your own and what we saw in Silicon Valley that led to where I am now.
Góis, turned down several corporate job offers and dedicated herself to do what she enjoys the most. Which is being an entrepreneur, being able to have a direct impact, and to improve people’s quality of life. She now has her first corporate client in Oporto, Portugal and is currently looking for possible co-founders to expand the business.
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If you feel curious about it and you want to know more, check the video below!