IT’S ALL ABOUT THE ‘WHY’!
There are these rare moments when all pieces of the puzzle seem to fall into place. The funny thing is, that you actually realize it while looking back. Well, Lucas Prigge’s puzzle fits perfectly! What do you get when you’re a vegan with a communications degree and a passion for IT? Exactly, a brilliant startup.
Lucas Prigge (25) is the founder of Veganicious. An online platform where you can find everything you need to know about the vegan way of life. It offers practical solutions, tips and products. And on top of the bill, it has an advanced search engine called VeganExplorer that shows you the nearest location of the stores and restaurants that sell vegan food and products. ‘‘The ultimate goal is to become the master in this field and basically make vegan life easier, as it is quite challenging to integrate the diet in your (social) life’’, states Lucas.
Round and about three years ago Lucas wouldn’t have expected this business, although he always dreamed about becoming an entrepreneur. As it means more freedom and independence. ‘‘Furthermore’’, says Lucas, ‘‘being an entrepreneur constantly forces you to improve yourself. It can be quite stressful, but valuable for your personal growth.’’
While he was gaining experience working in online marketing & sales for an IT startup, he decided to switch to a vegan diet, as he was aiming to improve his health, welfare and fitness. The diet worked and Lucas started to write a blog about it. He quickly realized that veganism was becoming a trend. Yet, it was difficult to find the right products and the right stores. Suddenly, the puzzle was complete.
‘‘I saw an opportunity that suited my personal interests. I really do believe that in order to have a successful business, I need to be passionate about the ‘why’,’’ emphasizes Lucas.
Although he already had quite a network and inspiring role models in the field of online marketing, he decided to ask some advice at Mercator Launch. Lucas went ‘all in’ with the coaching and feedback. He also attended the Radboud Summer School ‘Starting your own business’. ‘‘What a week’’, he says, ‘‘basically a crash course in Business Administration. For me, Mercator Launch filled the gap between what I knew and what I needed to know in order to further develop my idea and make it market ready. Furthermore, Mercator Launch team prepared Veganicious for the Gelderland Valoriseert Voucher, which was granted!’’
Last July, Lucas quit his job to focus solely on his startup. ‘‘As the Dutch people say, it’s ‘pompen of verzuipen’, which basically means ‘sink or swim.’ Lucas is however confident that Veganicious will do well. He now applies different revenue models and he partnered up with Bol.com. He’s even thinking about expanding his business. Quite an achievement for the young entrepreneur!
As advice for future entrepreneurs Lucas says: Just go for it! ‘‘If you have an idea you’re excited about, use it, validate it, consult the experts at Mercator Launch and make it happen!’’