Riverfood strips down to advisory only
It was February 2015: filled with dedication, passion, enthusiasm and belief I founded my very first company: Riverfood – producing fresh fish and vegetables inside buildings using aquaponics.
The developments that followed were numerous: writing a business plan, designing a logo, gathering a team, participating in (network) events, designing a website, completing accelerator programs, participating in (and winning some) competitions, developing products, securing finance, finding a suitable location, building aquaponics systems, teaching, giving presentations, growing a variety of plants, raising a number of fish species, collaborating with education, training interns and much, much more…
After winning the ‘Start-Up Academy’ in 2017 Riverfood took home at PLNT Leiden.
The beginning of 2018 was awesome! The team grew to five enthusiasts, Riverfood expanded from the basement combined with a mere desk to basement and office, multiple systems were sold, many courses were taught, lesson materials were bought and two market-worthy modular aquaponics systems were designed.
Sadly the anticipated crowdfund for the modular systems halfway 2018 never saw the light of day as arrangements with external parties did not go as planned. As a result the final quarter of 2018 showed finances were becoming insufficient to maintain Riverfood in its current form. The team had to be reduced back to just me and the office had to go.
Determined to make Riverfood grow again I took an additional job to create financial space while working hard on the Aquaponics Academy, Riverfood Systems and Riverfood Farming. Clearly this is not a one-person job.
After solving (also financially) some technical problems at client systems I chose to focus on the expansion of one branch only: Riverfood Farming.
While new interns joined Riverfood and we were optimizing the space in the PLNT Leiden basement for food production calculations showed Riverfood would not become viable… The only conclusion to draw was: “this is currently an expensive hobby, not a commercial business…”
Last October 2019 I made the sad decision to strip Riverfood down to advisory only.
Although Riverfood has not become what I anticipated there have been many wonderful moments, interesting developments and beautiful successes. These have all been made possible by the enthusiasm, inspiration and support of many, including you!
This way I would like to thank you very much for your contribution to Riverfood!
My next steps are not clear yet. Naturally Riverfood has enriched my experiences and knowledge and I am positive I will put these to practice in the (near) future.
p.s. currently I am writing up the (almost) 5-year journey of Riverfood (in Dutch). If you would like to receive a copy please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org