Close this search box.

A conversation with Anke Kuik: Founder of FLTRD, the company making the healthy choice, the easy choice!

Hi Anke! We’re very excited to have the opportunity to chat with you here at FEM-START. Can you share what inspired your journey into entrepreneurship and the driving force behind the creation of FLTRD?

The previous company that I co-founded, Faktor, was all about data and privacy. An important topic but after successfully selling that company to LiveRamp in the US, I took a step back to find out where my real passion lies. Out of my own interest I started to follow multiple nutrition courses and I was shocked to learn that more than half of the Western Society is chronically ill. In the Netherlands more than 10 million people have a chronic disease and this number is only growing. I was even more surprised to learn that lifestyle and food has such a huge impact on this. Some even say that more than 90% of diseases can be prevented with a healthier food and lifestyle. 

The big challenge today is that our environment makes it hard to live a healthy lifestyle. Petrol stations and canteens at schools, companies and even hospitals are full of fried and unhealthy food, there is a snack bar at every corner in the city and 70% of the products in the supermarkets are ultra-processed. These ultra-processed foods are more and more linked to chronic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, Heart disease, dementia and even depression. To make a real impact on society’s health we believe it is needed to create a more healthy environment and that’s why we decided to focus on filtering out ultra-processed foods. We strongly believe that the healthy choice should become the easy choice instead of the other way around.

What are some of the most essential things you did to get your business off the ground?

The most essential thing is that I started. When I decided to focus on healthy food and registered the company’s name (FLTRD), I did not know what FLTRD was going to offer exactly, other than filtering out the unhealthy stuff. What I did know is that I had a very strong mission and I had the trust that with this important mission in some way this was going to become successful. The second essential thing I did to get the business off the ground was to find my co-founder Kai. 

Kai and I used to work together at Faktor and after experiencing some personal health issues in which food played an important role, Kai was very motivated to start FLTRD with me. This was crucial as we have complementary skills and you need someone to bounce ideas off and drag you through less productive periods, which will certainly be there with any start-up. We then raised money with some angel investors, found a tech partner and within three months our first MVP App was live! This was a huge milestone thanks to Kai’s great product management skills.

How did you build your customer base and grow your business?

Focus was the defining factor! First of all, you must understand who your target audience is. You might believe that your product or service is relevant for a huge target group which you are probably correct about, yet it is extremely important to focus in the beginning. Focus on a niche. Then dive deep into different types of media such as search, social media or video ads and optimise in real-time based on the results. You will quickly learn which keywords, publishers or ads are driving results and you can allocate your marketing budget accordingly so that you don’t waste it and make the best out of it. In our case, partnerships have also been proven to be very beneficial. Partnerships with coaches who recommend our app to their clients have helped us grow our user base.

What are some of the biggest mistakes you made along the way, and what did you learn from them?

We didn’t make any huge mistakes as of yet but one thing I would do differently is that I would be more patient. From the beginning, I was so convinced about our potential and I wanted to do everything as soon as possible. Although I strongly believe it is important to get the word out there, it is also important to take the time and validate your ideas very thoroughly. This has been a great learning and we are taking more time now to design our new app and validate everything with our customers before we invest further in our tech development.

What is your biggest achievement since founding the company, and how did you get there?

One of our biggest achievements was launching the app! We did it within 3 months, thanks to our partnership with Levi9 and our first angel investor. It is not easy to raise money at the moment and of course, it took some effort but we are very proud of our first round and what we could build with it. We receive very positive feedback on our app, particularly from nutrition coaches.

What advice do you have for other women who want to start their own business?

Start, don’t wait! If you have a clear mission that is viable, just go for it. Share your mission and get out there. Eventually, you will meet the right partners and people who will support you. It’s not necessary to know how everything will play out exactly. You won’t ever know with certainty. There are a lot of perfectionists out there and, being perfectionistic doesn’t necessarily help. Starting and building a company is a process. It’s only when you start getting out there that you learn and develop. If you have the right focus and passion, you will see that things will flourish.

What’s next for FLTRD? Anything we can expect in 2024?

We are launching a powerful new version of the FLTRD app very soon! We currently have an improved version of our MVP live and we have exciting plans to expand that one. We will become the healthy shopping list optimiser in Europe. Next to that, we will add a scanner. This allows you to scan a barcode of a product in the supermarket or at home and provides you with all relevant health-related information. 

You can also get product recommendations based on health or just optimise your whole shopping list. We will provide product swaps on a branding level; since oat milk A is not the same as oat milk B and kefir might be better than Optimel. At a later stage, we will add functionality around functional food which refers to food that has health benefits next to basic nutrition. We will add AI-based recommendations on certain health issues like Gut Health or Type 2 Diabetes. Besides that, we are working on direct partnerships with supermarkets so that we can help them focus more on health impact and reach a larger group of policy-makers in that domain. We want to make sure healthy decisions truly become the easy choice.

If you want to know more about Anke’s company FLTRD, click here!


More Posts

Join our newsletter


Receive our weekly newsletter for upcoming events, interviews, membership features and more.