Lukas speaks with passion about designing customer centric startups, and is eager to mentor up-and-comers about the challenges of the game.
After a Bachelor’s in International Relations in Germany and Argentina, Lukas continued his studies with a Master’s degree in International Policy at a quaint little university called Stanford – only he quickly jumped ship to the Stanford Design School, after uncovering a love for entrepreneurship and design thinking. “I completely drank the Kool-aid,” Friedman laughed. “It was very inspirational – we were doing a lot of complex policy analysis and to simplify them into tangible outcomes at the Design school was very rewarding.”
Armed with his top-notch education, Friedmann started working at Polymath Ventures and had the opportunity to work with multiple of portfolio companies nurtered by the funds manager. There, he grappled with a variety of roles: designing business ventures, scouting for talent, and spurring eager investors, culminating in his promotion to Country Manager of Mexico. You could say Lukas was becoming a Polymath himself.
Continuing down the path of entrepreneurship, he is advising start-ups at COMON and founded Philosofee, a cold brew company. It seems that no matter where he went – be it Bogotá or Berlin – Lukas ran the show. His newest venture, The Equal Food Company that he co-founded with Alberto Mojtar, is no different.
As any great company, Equal Food started with too many avocados. In 2019, months before the pandemic broke out, Lukas found himself in Lisbon. His business began selling imperfect avocados from farmers to local restaurants.
“Avocados were everywhere and were a high-class item, and many brunch places were flourishing in Lisbon.”
It was going swimmingly, until quarantine forced restaurants to close, leaving Lukas with a stunning 600kg of less-than-perfect avocados.
“We rolled up our sleeves and sold avocados to friends, friends-of-friends… that was definitely a challenge.”
In the end, he had adapted his business model from B2B to B2C, while eventually broadening his produce selection, all while surviving a pandemic that was cruel to young start-ups.
Currently operating in Lisbon and Oporto, Equal Food, on a mission to reduce food waste and making healthy food accessible, is hungry to expand to more Iberian cities such as Braga and Madrid and Lukas is always on the prowl for sustainable business ideas, such as providing a nuts-to-door subscription service, and moving Equal Food to turn undesirable foods into new products.
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