The entrepreneurial adventure begins
We are Matteo and Dario Beluffi, as well as the owners of Bel.Co. Srl, which deals with consultancy in the vegan, vegetable field and we do research and development for companies and we have recently decided to do it for ourselves also by inserting and creating a new plant based brand called “In.Vece”, which is a vegetable alternative.
This brand was born with a new perspective, first and foremost, because Dario, about five years ago, had become obese with regards to his work. So, from a personal point of view, we started to study what is a little about nutrition and what the various ingredients actually did, until becoming vegan about a couple of years ago. In traveling the world / Italy we saw there was a lack, a market need for this world.
We started in 2017 with Dario writing two books, then the first of a series called “Veg Project” and from there we understood, with the feedback from the book, to have to place innovative products on the market. To think of launching one, in the end we launched 5 in about eight months. They have been very, very hard months, but at the moment we did it. We have introduced them a few months ago and we are on the market with innovative products, which only we do, even in the world, creating products designed, first of all, and for the work we do for “B to B”, therefore the world also Ho.Re.Ca. (Editor’s note “Hotellerie-Restaurant-Café”) and finally for the “B to C”, then for the final customer.
The money to start
We obviously found the money over time, setting aside what our economies have been in time and the help of our father, who is the third partner of Bel.Co. and as President and majority shareholder he was a big help, because obviously he was the first to believe in us and he gave us “a hand” in creating the company in everything, even the bureaucratic part, but the years of work weigh down and they certainly served something.
To date, after having made large investments for the five products we have presented, we are obviously asking for help from the bank, from financial instruments that allow us to create a more solid and structured company with the vision of, perhaps, entering into market five or ten other products, who knows, we’ll see what we can do.
A negative and a positive event
As for a negative topic in my entrepreneurial period, perhaps more related to the Italian bureaucracy, in the sense that negative-negative, fortunately we have not had many, if not precisely that related to bureaucracy, to the difficulty even to succeed to do business with a little more simplicity, as far as young people is concerned, because if it hadn’t been for the family, which we have behind us, even on certain mechanisms it is not so easy to be able to do business and maybe get to know of certain information, speeches related to financing, perhaps European, with which, perhaps, precisely to help today’s young people in a start-up and grow daily and annually, of course. So, once you have goals, you can put them into practice, even in fairly short times.
Positive element, I would say fortunately many, especially in the last period. First of all, for having succeeded in creating five products in eight months, which among business friends, in speaking, we understood to be a great undertaking. So, we are proud of ourselves and at the same time for having the good fortune of having met magnificent entrepreneurs, with a vision that is also entrepreneurial, in turn very far-sighted, above all in our regard, such as to have succeeded, to have helped us to realize what was our dream, our goal from here in 10 years.
Doing business in Italy
Doing business in Italy it certainly means clashing with a world that still lives in the tradition, especially as we work in the food sector, food we say, there is a big background and for those who present innovative products or in an area that in Italy is not still so developed as the “plant based” that is a phrase that is very fashionable, the vegan, it is precisely to see the disparity between what is tradition and a little innovation. We have, we live daily in contact with people who surely have their own history on traditional recipes, we go a bit to destabilize them, even with the brand we created, which speaks of “In.Vece”, an alternative to this it means going to see just what the difficulty is in a country that still lives in its history. Surely it is also a beautiful thing, as I like it, I like challenges, we like challenges and facing them daily is something that gives us the incentive to always look towards the future, and probably understand what we think, of course, is the politics of the future of food in Italy and beyond, it is a big world trend, so we hope it will works.
Obviously, we decided to do it in Italy, apart from being Italian, but precisely because we too live in a tradition, we have been, passed the term, omnivores for years, so we know very well what the Italian food tradition is. Not forgetting the tradition, we wanted to create products that turned to the future, what we believe is the future of food, so the vegan, plant based, vegetable part, but not forgetting what is the fundamental part that Italy has as a trait distinctive of everything: the taste, that is the part that everyone, everyone of us has inside. Tasting a product, everyone has a memory, has a story related to that product. We did not want to offer an alternative product, which was a fake joint, but we wanted to create something that reminded in every way of the Italian tradition, so a tiramisu rather than other products, a drink, a milk, etc., etc., that were related to the Italian tradition, but perhaps with a slightly more innovative trait.
The key traits of an entrepreneur
For me an entrepreneur today must be, first and foremost, far-sighted, however, with the times that are running it is not so easy to do business and above all to update oneself daily, so also keeping up with the times. Foresight, therefore, both in the working part, therefore of the entrepreneurial path, or in any case the project to which one is thinking, therefore I also continue updating, taking courses and then believing that at the same time in the young and perhaps in some idea that to a certain point maybe missing and being able to have that part of humbleness, knowing how to listen to other people and not just yourself.
The future for the new generations
A message to a young man who perhaps wants to approach the business world is certainly to, let’s say, focus on a goal, which can be precisely the marketing of a vegan product, study the vegan world down to the smallest detail, mono focus, until the time runs out. To aspire to become perhaps the best in that market, but also to be inspired by those who do business today, who is the best in that market, in that sector, because it is true, of course, they make history perhaps by understanding what their disadvantages are, advantage and adapt them to your business. Don’t be afraid, because fear sometimes limits, the fear of having problems often leads to having them. Dealing with the problem when there is the real problem, this is one of the advice I can give, certainly look a little more broadly, not to be stopped by someone’s directions or by a road that maybe someone tells you. See the side streets, which are sometimes even the best or are innovative, different and maybe not beaten by anyone because nobody has ever done them.
Therefore, it is essential to believe in your projects and go a little bit straight. Stubbornness sometimes pays, sometimes not, but it can be a good advantage: try!