UGo Smoothies is making eating healthy a lot simpler by developing a vending machine that spits out delicious and all-natural, vegan, dairy and sugar free smoothies.
Started by Mitch Schwartz and Morgan Abraham in Montreal, Quebec, UGo Smoothies was developed when the pair wanted to create a way for busy people to eat well on the go. The food system today is still unfortunately so broken. There are almost zero requirements to label your products “all natural” or “organic” and after noticing that fast food was often inexpensive, but healthy food was absurdly expensive, the duo felt a need to bring something to the market.
With Mitch’s background in industrial and mechanical design working in food packaging and Morgan’s background as an electrical engineer building design and medical equipment, the pair set out to bring an affordable, healthy and quick way for people to consume healthier options. “Our society has accepted that anything worth doing takes effort, but when obesity has surpassed lung cancer as the top cause of self-inflicted death in North America, things have clearly gone too far,” Mitch explained for the inspiration behind UGo Smoothies vending machines.
To date, UGo Smoothies has built an engineering department that can work effectively in Mitch or Morgan’s absence and received an exciting letter of intent from a large client that will allow them to distribute their machines across North America. However, the entrepreneurial journey for these two entrepreneurs still has been a rollercoaster just like anyone else’s. “Understanding how to handle the stress without letting it turn into anger or guilt has been one of my biggest learning curves,” Mitch explains.
The co-founder also stressed the importance of taking advice from others, as a new or aspiring entrepreneur you’ll notice that people will come at you from all angles offering their advice. So how do you know when to take it and when to choose to ignore? Mitch shared some insights:
Everyone has an opinion, many of those opinions come from experience, many are vitally important for you to listen to, but some can be distracting or misleading. Even if I’ve done what you’re about to do, I did it as me, so I can’t really know what it would be like for you, since your skillsets are almost certainly different than mine.” So here are some of my opinions on taking advice:
1) Only follow advice from people in the areas of life in which you would like to emulate them.
2) Let advice sink in before acting on it.
3) If you aren’t sure about the advice, rather than disregarding it outright or arguing, attempt to understand why the person feels this advice is important, if only 20% of it is useful, then you’re still better off having understood it.
4) As irritating as unsolicited advice may be, the people giving it want to feel important. As a founder, relationships are your number one job, so politely thanking them and changing the topic is a great route. Explaining why they are wrong is a waste of your time.
5) Sometimes you’ll take advice and want to act on it, but won’t make much progress despite good intentions. This could be a sign that you understand that what but not the how. Generally the person who gave you the advice will be open to follow ups, provided they feel their time with you is well spent.
UGo Smoothies are in the process of installing their first machines and are taking pre-orders as of this month. To learn more, visit their website here.
Mitch and Morgan were part of the Spin Master Innovation Fund program run by Futurpreneur Canada and Spin Master Ltd., to learn more about this offering, click here.
Written by: Lauren Marinigh, Social Media & Content Specialist, Futurpreneur Canada