An exclusive interview with Ilya Kichuk, Founder of Effa. He is an industrial designer with more than 6 years of professional experience. Moreover, He has participated most of the Ukrainian successful Kickstarter campaigns, as iblazr and Mevics.
Tell us about yourself?
I am an open-minded and creative person who has always dreamed of creating something special, something that would change the world in the better way. I love nature and I care about it a lot in my everyday life, and now finally, I got to create a product making all my dreams come true.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
When I was brushing my teeth in the morning 🙂 I thought: what an irrational plastic use! You produce plastic from oil materials, you make a plastic disposable toothbrush. You use it for 3 minutes…And then you throw it away into the environment, letting it pollute the nature for 500 years! This is nonsense! And the idea came to my head as a flash! Toothbrush made of paper! Why not? I was thinking about that for a couple of years, and then I’ve met my girlfriend, Dasha, told her about my idea on our first date, and she said: “Let’s do that!” And that is how our journey began!
How much potential market share can you achieve in next 3 years?
Right now we are in the middle of negotiations with a European company, selling disposable goods to hotels and airlines in 40 European countries, and they love Effa! So in the next 3 years, we are planning to cover the travel and hospitality area in European and US countries. Also, we have discovered a new market for us – European prisons! We got to know, that it is forbidden to use a plastic toothbrush in prison, and here goes Effa! So this is not only eco-product but one with a huge social potential!
What was the best book or series that you’ve ever read?
Lean Startup by Eric Reis and all of Harry Potter ones 🙂 I am a huge dreamer!
What are the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?
- The best one is my Mac computer – my best friend, co-worker and creative instrument.
- The worst one – is anything packed in a plastic bag! Hate it!
What takes up too much of your time?
I am a sleeper. I can sleep until noon easily.
What three pieces of advice would you give to college students/new startup business owners who want to become entrepreneurs?
Be brave, be creative, be confident and love your product as your own child.
Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?
The amount of strength you get when you really need to achieve your goal
Tell us about something you are proud of – about your greatest challenge.
Effa is my greatest challenge. I had to take a huge risk of quitting my job and investing all of my time and money into Effa. I was really scared for once!
How should people connect with you?
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