The Mighty Kitchen Co-Founder & CEO: Making chicken without the bird
KavAdemy Founder Profile interviewed George Vou, the Co-Founder & CEO of The Mighty Kitchen, a food technology company using data modeling and materials chemistry to make delicious, fibrous, plant-based poultry products.
George is on a mission to create positive change, and The Mighty Kitchen is the third startup he has founded. So far, according to his own words, he has made 1 exit, 1k mistakes, and learned 2k lessons along his journey.
As a child, George didn't dream of becoming an entrepreneur. However, later in life, he started aligning his need to "get things done" and make an impact. He became a founder looking for the best route to enable him to do just that.
The Mighty Kitchen makes Mighty branded products for foodservice and retail. At the same time, due to their product IP and production partnerships, the company can help businesses create and launch custom products for their stores or chains.
Q: What inspired you to become an entrepreneur? How did you get started?
I didn't come out of college directly starting my journey as an entrepreneur. When I was younger, I started a few companies, failed, and learned a lot. I went through the corporate path for a few years and decided it wasn't the right fit for me. What inspired me was looking at the impact other founders and companies were making, and I felt like traditional structures would not allow me to do so. I have now been a full-time entrepreneur for a decade.
What also inspired me to become an entrepreneur was the notion that I can control what I dedicate my time, effort and skill set to. I co-founded a tech startup about ten years ago and got addicted to the process. I learned a lot, failed a lot, then did it again but better. The drive to start came mainly from being uninspired about what I spent my time on.
Q: What is the best advice you have received (on your journey as a founder)?
The best advice I have received - one related to a theme that stands out time and time again - is the ability to embrace uncertainty. There will always be volatility in building your business. It's part of the process, and you don't need to love it, but it's important to accept. It's a good mindset and mental framework to see all the challenges through.
Nobody loves uncertainty. It's nice to be secure in your actions, but it's never going to happen, especially in all stages of building a company. It will help if you are comfortable with the fact that it's not going to be comfortable and work within those parameters.
This has impacted how I perceive situations and handle myself as an individual.
What also inspired me to become an entrepreneur was the notion that I can control what I dedicate my time, effort and skill set to. I co-founded a tech startup about ten years ago and got addicted to the process. I learned a lot, failed a lot, then did it again but better.
Q: What has been your most significant challenge as a founder? What steps did you take to overcome that challenge?
I touched on this in the previous answer. Managing your team, relationships, emotions, and focus is the most challenging thing. Keeping a healthy mindset, in general, is so important and something we all need to dedicate time towards.
The mental drain, both personally and professionally, is huge. The extreme pressure and fluctuation of emotions mean that you are in a volatile mental environment in the beginning and even growing the company. As a founder and human being, you balance out these processes and try to make the best judgment calls in every case.
Balancing those emotions and adding perspective in every action and translating that have some kind of mental barriers for when you go home and interact with your personal life. I think all of these things I would put into one challenge - finding a way to come through.
Q: What have been the most significant gains?
Meeting and working with amazing people, creating great products together, seeing people's reactions and hearing their words when they consume what you've made. All of these are so rewarding.
Q: What is one book you recommend, and why?
Drive by Daniel Pink. Because of the message and the timing, the book was very impactful. An enormous part of our job is to collect great talent along the way to join your journey and mission. The book helps to understand the core of motivation. To understand what drives and motivates people at the core level, we need to understand the fundamentals of performing in this environment and the psychological aspects of what helps us find meaning in our work.
Q: In one sentence, what's the best advice you would give to young founders or someone just starting their entrepreneurial journey?
Be prepared for things not to go as planned, and be ok with that. Be solution-based always in your approach. Do look for smart people and network well so you can get ahead. Look for people that can help you along the way but don't cling to them - understand that the journey is yours, and you are the only one that can drive your business forward.
Look for people that can help you along the way but don't cling to them - understand that the journey is yours, and you are the only one that can drive your business forward.
Q: In terms of legacy, what is your mission – what does the world you want to create look like?
It looks like a world that features a lot more tolerance and understanding and one that can apply nuance to given situations. I would like us to evolve the way we treat each other, the environment, and all living beings and be a big part of the puzzle that adds value to making that happen.
Thank you, George, for joining us at KavAdemy Founders Profile today and letting us interview you.
"This Project SEED/0719/0103 is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research and Innovation Foundation."
To keep an eye on the Mighty Kitchen's journey, visit https://themightykitchen.com/ or follow @themightykitchen
If you know someone who would be a great fit for the KavAdemy Founder Profile series, let us know by sending an e-mail to Laura Lindholm at email@example.com.