One of the first mistakes I think many make with start-ups is spending money on stuff you shouldn’t be spending on … or on stuff that can be taken care of at a later stage.

I’m entirely guilty.

BUT. I’m learning through sheer necessity: I’m strapped for cash. I’ve got just enough to start. Nowhere near enough to afford mistakes. 

This goes well with the philosophy of the lean start up that everyone is celebrating. Get a product out there fast, make mistakes fast, correct those mistakes fast… repeat until you have something that works. Think: MVP, MVP, MVP! (minimal viable product).

Two of the lessons I’ve learned so far.

Firstly: There is a wealth of opportunity working with research centres... If you present your business as an exciting and viable project. They have access to sources of funding within the academic world. It’s a question of finding which centre’s interests match your needs. So, began conversations with Oxford Brookes University and their nutrition team. There is a possibility of working together to analyse pinole and Azure products’ nutritional content and other properties. If it goes through, this means Azure’s products’ nutritional content will be mapped out! I’m unbelievably excited but nothing has been promised yet.

Secondly: I got in touch with food technologists, the wizards of this world who create the recipes for the food companies. Both those I am currently working with have offered to create a prototype for free. That’s just insane to me. But I have already tasted 3 different types of tasty bars, my first MVPs, and will be trying out another couple in 2 weeks' time. I’ve made my very first purchase which is now Azure’s property: a blender. Instead of spending money renting out an industrial kitchen, bars are being made by hand at home at minimum cost. It pays to get people enthusiastic, on your side, and helping out.