Back in 2014, Anna Ojutkangas and Eveliina Suoyrjo, two London Met graduates in Sports Therapy BSc and Fashion Marketing BA launched Arctic Power Berries; and began selling 100% pure berry powders from Finland, the Land of The Midnight Sun.
Hand-picked in the untouched Arctic landscape of Finnish Lapland, their range of 100% berry powders are just that – 100% wild berries. Their range includes Blackcurrant, Wild Blueberry, Cranberry, Lingonberry and Sea Buckthorn, and just one teaspoon is equal to one cup of fresh antioxidant and vitamin rich berries!
They tried to start the business on their own but got stuck with legal issues, but after seeing an advert about Student Enterprise’s Launchpad programme, they decided to apply straight away. Within 6 months, they had built up a website and an online store for the berry powders, and had begun receiving orders from all over England, Europe and beyond – from China, Mexico, USA and New Zealand.
With support from health food bloggers and getting stocked in six health shops across London, Arctic Power Berries was officially on the map. Now, almost 10 years later, we caught up with Anna to see how everything is going with Arctic Power Berries.
Why did you decide to take part in the Hatchery/Launchpad?
My friend Eveliina Suoyrjo (also a London Met graduate) and I had the idea of starting our company Arctic Power Berries, but were a bit stuck on where to get started. We took part in the Hatchery programme (now Launchpad) in 2014 and found it very useful.
How did taking part help you to develop your entrepreneurial skills?
It gave us the “validation”. We had lots of passion and ideas of get going but needed someone to confirm it was an idea worth going for.
Tell us about your journey since taking part in the Hatchery
It’s been 9 years since the programme and it surely has been a true entrepreneur journey. We started our business, launched our products and have learned everything by doing. The Accelerator and people there have been an incredible support along the journey. In terms of both, mental support and practical problem solving.
How would you describe your future as an entrepreneur?
Eve and I really enjoy what we do and are proud that we had made living out of the idea we had 10 years ago. The company has grown a lot, we now sell our berry powders to wholesale customers, retailers, online at our website, and also export. Our Arctic Power Berries have found their way to the hearts and breakfast bowls of customers all over the UK and internationally.
What advice would you give to another student or graduate looking to participate in Launchpad?
Definitely go for it!
For more information on our upcoming Student Enterprise programmes, visit our programme page for London Met’s Student Enterprise service.