Aqua farms – a business idea from the USA
A few years ago, Egor Voitenkov and Alexander Militsin could not even think about how they would exchange work in large corporations for an unusual but exciting business – selling kits for growing mushrooms, as well as aquariums built into flower pots.
The idea of selling such aquariums is not unique – for the first time, Egor Voitenkov saw such a thing during his holiday in the United States. On the streets of Los Angeles, he was interested in two guys who were selling kits for growing mushrooms at home.
A large crowd of people gathered around them, and the business was going quite well. Yegor ventured to order a whole container of mycelium to try to sell a similar product in Russia, but I missed it: myceliodes could not survive the journey from the United States to Russia and deteriorated. The whole container was dumped.
Aquarium business, or how to make millions on aqua farms
But, as a true entrepreneur, Yegor was not afraid of difficulties and brought another type of product – aqua farms, which are a hybrid of an aquarium and a flowerpot. Customers liked this product, and in just one year of work, more than 20,000 aqua farms were sold.
Egor talks about his life – he was educated at the Finance Academy, at the Faculty of International Relations. Immediately after the Academy, he began working in large companies: at first it was Sistema, where in just one year of work, Egor was responsible for investing the non-public asset of the Detsky Mir company (by the way, it was at that moment that Yegor was well aware that – it is always promising, even in crisis situations, the motto “all the best is for children!” Works, so sales of children’s departments almost never fall, and besides, children are a good and kind story that is pleasant to work with).
After Sistema, Egor moved to X5 Retail Group, where he was in charge of building investor relations, the last large enterprise Egor worked for was the group of gold mining companies Yuzhuralzoloto. Everything went smoothly and well, but at one point Egor was confronted with the fact that for further development it was necessary to move to Chelyabinsk, but he did not want to do this categorically.
Therefore, Egor decided to take a time out and go to Los Angeles on vacation. There, walking through the streets, Yegor saw a crowd of people who surrounded the two guys. It turned out that these guys were the founders of the company Back to the Roots, and on the street they were selling “magic sets”, allowing to grow oyster mushrooms right at home. Mycelium in a box, a special spray and 5 days is all that is necessary for a beginner “mushroom grower”.
Yegor liked this idea very much, he even managed to negotiate the sale of kits for growing mushrooms in one of the large retail chains (these contacts were acquired during the time of working with investors), having received the “good” from partners, Yegor went to San Francisco to meet with the founders of Back to the Roots, Alex and Nikhel.
After talking with foreign partners, Egor immediately ordered a large sea container, investing $ 30,000 in it, among which were his own savings and funds borrowed from friends. After Egor returned to Moscow and quit his job.
After returning to Moscow, Egor met Alexander, who became his business partner. Infected him with the idea of ”mushrooming”, Alexander quit his job and was ready to fully surrender to the new project.
The container with the precious cargo was just approaching Moscow. In total, the road from the USA to Russia took 35 days and … during this time the mycelium had time to freeze and deteriorate. The whole container was unsuitable for sale, it had to be thrown away. Neither the American partners, nor Yegor and Alexander did not take into account the peculiarities of the temperature regime and could not predict the consequences of supercooling the container on the road.
Egor recalls that the period came when his hands fell, huge money was lost, but Egor was not going to return to the old life.
Entrepreneurs gathered and decided not to deviate from their goals.
Immediately after the failure, the guys began to develop suppliers of unusual products from around the world. Of course, about the unsuccessful experience with mycelium told and partners in the United States. Within the framework of the strictest secrecy, they told about the launch of a completely new product – a closed eco-system of the desktop type.
This product was called “aqua farm”, and one of the samples was sent to Russia for review.
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The essence of the akvafermy is that it is necessary to pour water into the aquarium, install a pump into the water, run the fish.