FACC INTERVIEW: TERO ISOKAUPPILA FROM FOUR SIGMATIC: “NEW YORK IS THE BEST EVER, AND THE WORST EVER”
Four Sigmatic is an American company founded by Finns. It helps people live healthier by popularizing ancient superfood mushrooms. Their products were launched in the U.S. in January 2015 and are currently sold nationwide in natural food stores such as Whole Foods Market and Sprouts Farmers Market. FACC interviewed the founder of Four Sigmatic, Tero Isokauppila, to find out what it is like to build a superfood brand in the U.S. How would you describe building a business in the U.S.? Like running a marathon. Extremely painful, but has its flow moments. It's also something you will cherish for a long time. What do you do in New York? New York is great to meet up with press, investors and opinion leaders. We also have an increasing amount of retailers here, and we're just about to start selling our products at the Smorgasburg weekend markets in Brooklyn. How does New York differ from other U.S. cities? New York is the best ever, and the worst ever. For an entrepreneur it offers a very large and globally influential market, in a very dense area. It's also hyper competitive, and even after an 80 hour workweek you feel you should have done more. It's a no bullshit place, with very limited attention span. There has been a lot of buzz in the U.S. media about Four Sigmatic. How did you make that happen? Great domain knowledge, few smart partnerships, and tons of hard work. Our story is also quite unique. But it's like cooking, it's hard to make a good dish if you start with bad ingredients. How useful do you find events for nutrition entrepreneurs? These things vary a lot. There's a "must attend" event every single day somewhere in the U.S. You need to pick you battles, and see where your size company should be first. What is the best aspect of doing business in NYC? The feeling when you ride your fixed gear bike over the Williamsburg bridge to Manhattan to go have an investor meeting at Souen over some kelp noodles. You can read more about Four Sigmatic here.