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“I never let the male-dominated tech world affect my confidence”

Written by Latifa Yedroudj on Thursday, 19 November 2020. Posted in Fresh faces, Interviews

Melissa Snover, founder and CEO of Get Nourished opens up about the trials of launching her food tech business – and how it thrived during the pandemic

“I never let the male-dominated tech world affect my confidence”

Melissa Snover, founder and CEO of Get Nourished opens up about the trials of launching her food tech business – and how it thrived during the pandemic 

Tech-savvy New Yorker Melissa Snover is taking strides in business with her company Get Nourished – and will let no challenge stand in her way to success 

“Since I was a little girl, I have always been passionate about learning and was a massive geek in school!” Melissa tells me. “I think this thirst for knowledge and new skills has certainly had a positive impact on my career and has allowed me to break into new markets and develop new products. I am a true believer that you can achieve anything you put your mind to.” 

Melissa Snover was born and raised in New York and studied Business Management and Political Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. She later moved to the UK to complete her studies at Lancaster University and has remained here ever since. At the age of 23, Melissa co-founded a financial services company but later sold it in 2009 so she could focus on what she loves best – confectionary. A year later, she founded FTF Sweets Ltd, also known as Goody Good Stuff, the world’s first vegan and all-natural allergen-free fruit gum. In 2015, Melissa partnered with the highly successful German Katjes family corporation, developers for the world’s first 3D printer for food to reach the consumer market. 

With all her background in food tech, Melissa would have never believed an embarrassing accident would have sparked the idea for her nutrition brand, Get Nourished. Before starting her business venture, Melissa, who is a registered nutritionist, is an avid consumer of vitamins and used to bring a big bag of supplements everywhere she went – even on her travels. Back in 2018, Melissa dropped her supplement bag all over airport security and had to crawl around in her suit and heels picking up the pills one by one. Melissa knew there had to be a more convenient and easier way to get her daily dose of vitamins without the extra hassle - and that was when her idea for Get Nourished began. She wanted to create an all-in-one personalised vitamin or consumers on the go. The company was launched in October 2019. 

“I have personally been interested in nutrition and have been an avid consumer of vitamins and supplements for over a decade,” Melissa said. “As a busy entrepreneur, I travel all over the world and used to constantly carry around different vitamins with me in a bag which was extremely inconvenient. On one such occasion, I accidentally dropped my bag of supplements all over the floor in airport security and had to crawl round in my suit and heels trying to pick them up. I knew there must be an easier way to take nutrition! I sought out to find a way to simplify the way we take vitamins and make the combinations 100% customised to the consumer. Of all the things we personalise, our health and wellness should be top priority!” 

Using state-of-the-art 3D printing technology, Get Nourished offers its customers delicious and nutritious vitamin-packed gummy bear blends that are 100% tailored to their needs. The company prides themselves in being the first on the market to create such a bespoke and personal product for their customers. “Nourished is the first truly personalised nutrition product on the market,” Melissa tells me. Many of our competitors re-package different pills and vitamins into one ‘personalised’ pack but these are not tailor-made and the customer is still left having to take multiple different pills each day. At Nourished we 3D print each bespoke, gummy blend on-demand to ensure it has higher efficacy and increased absorption rate than isolated tablets, and that it is 100% customised to the end-user.” 

“We are the only company in the world currently able to combine multiple active ingredients into one product, creating truly bespoke nutrition,” Melissa added. “Our patented 3D printing technology and vegan encapsulation formula sets us apart from competitors in our market, and gives us a unique advantage which would be incredibly difficult to replicate.” 

Being a woman in the male-dominated tech industry can present itself with some challenges, but not for Melissa. She never let that define her or affect her confidence as a female entrepreneur. Instead, Melissa focused her time and efforts into establishing her brand and compiling data sources to draw potential investors into her business. Melissa admitted it was tough to gain trust from investors as there was no other brand like hers in the market – so she had to really wow the crowd in a sea of skeptics. “The tech industry is still very much male-dominated but I never let this affect my decisions or confidence as a female entrepreneur,” Melissa said. “It can be very difficult to navigate the venture capitalist and funding eco-system for anyone, especially if you have no previous experience of it. For me, one of the most time-consuming activities was creating the pitch deck itself which needed to include a huge amount of data and information in a concise manner to educate potential investors on our business. As we have created a world first technology and concept, there were no previous case studies or examples I could draw on which made it more challenging.” 

Since launching Get Nourished late last year, Melissa faced another incredibly big roadblock in her business venture – the coronavirus pandemic. The UK went into lockdown just four months after Melissa brought Get Nourished to British shores – but no challenge was too big for the savvy New Yorker. Despite the struggles and mass uncertainty along the way, Get Nourished was able to thrive during the pandemic due to rising demand in health and nutritious products. The company has grown from four employees to 44 staff members, revenue growth of 250% and subscriber growth of 300% in just nine months. 

“At the start of the pandemic we had only been launched in the UK market for 4 months so it was a very challenging and uncertain time,” Melissa explained. “Being a small start-up business, we were able to quickly and effectively pivot and adapt our business to the meet the changing consumer mindset and evolving government regulations to ensure we remained compliant and sensitive to the situation. We refocused our marketing strategies from offline to online, implemented heightened hygiene conditions for our production team and turned our R&D lab into a facility to make freehand sanitizer and PPE equipment for our customers and local key workers. As we control a majority of our supply chain and 3D print every blend on-demand in house, we did not have to rely on external suppliers and so were able to keep up with increased demand.”  

“We’ve had many achievements since launching Nourished in October 2019, but for me, the biggest reward is always hearing the positive feedback from our customers,” Melissa added. “It is incredible to hear how Nourished has helped someone’s confidence by improving their skin or increased their energy levels so they have more time to do the things they love. Our customer feedback is extremely important to us and it is a genuine joy for me to hear how Nourished has made a positive impact on their lifestyle and goals.   

In a few words of advice to businesses powering through the pandemic, Melissa said: “I would encourage any aspiring entrepreneur or business owner to remain resilient and agile whilst launching a business in the current climate and to be prepared to pivot your strategies and to not be afraid to readjust and start again. It is also crucially important to have a passionate and positive team around you, particularly during these challenging times, who you can delegate to and rely on champion the ethos and vision of your company.”

About the Author

Latifa Yedroudj

Latifa Yedroudj

Latifa Yedroudj has joined the Elite team to fully immerse herself in the business side of journalism, a strong passion of hers cultivated from young having co-run her mother's start up business since she was 18. Her interests lie in a wide range of subjects, including start ups, business, travel, and anything entrepreneurial she can get her hands on. She has worked for some of the biggest names in journalism including The Guardian and The Mirror. Follow her on @latifayed on Twitter for her latest journo rants.

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