Five Questions to Anas Khadem Aljamie, Founder of Mately

‘At MATÉLY, we make super drinks from yerba maté tea. Yerba maté is a popular tea consumed in South America, in countries such as Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil.’’

Five Questions to Anas Khadem Aljamie, Founder of Mately.

What is your business about?

‘At MATÉLY, we make super drinks from yerba maté tea. Yerba maté is a popular tea consumed in South America, in countries such as Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. It’s known as the holy plant because it provides energy, wellness, and an uplifting feeling.’

How did you come up with the idea?

‘Yerba maté is a traditional drink in Syria because of the immigration in the last century. Many Syrians went to Argentina and then came back with yerba maté. Syria is actually the biggest importer of yerba maté after South American countries. The idea to start MATÉLY came to me in 2021. I quit smoking and started consuming a lot of coffee and energy drinks. However, I was feeling more tired and jittery. I decided to change my diet and I tried yerba maté. Within one week, I got instant feedback. My gut issues went away and I felt more energetic. However, preparing yerba maté takes a lot of time, so I started making it in advance, like a cold brew. Yerba maté leaves are steeped in cold or room temperature water for an extended period of time, usually 12-24 hours. This slow extraction process produces a concentrate that is less bitter and less acidic than traditional brew, with a smoother and more rounded flavour. It makes it easy to prepare in advance and be able to take it with you. I wanted to share this drink with others to impact their mental, physical, and social health, as well as promote sustainability.’

What are you proud of in your entrepreneurial journey?

‘Winning the highest potential rookie award. It may seem small, but it boosted my motivation and self-confidence. As someone from Syria starting something from scratch, it’s not easy, so building something tangible is very meaningful for me.’

What comes to mind when thinking about your journey with Forward?

‘I couldn’t have reached where I am now without Forward·Inc, especially the Incubator Program. It gave me a lot of knowledge and a team to work with, which is important when you have decision fatigue. The external view of a team can provide a different perspective, and I learned a lot from them. Thank you Maria, Irene, Lorenzo and Gianniluca!’

What is your current challenge, and how can we, as a community, help solve that challenge?

‘I am currently facing the challenge of entering the market with my business. As an entrepreneur, this is a difficult step that I must take, especially since I have no previous experience in entering the Dutch market. While I am excited about the possibilities. I am not sure what will happen, but I am determined to do my best. Fortunately, I am not alone in this endeavour as I have the support of the Forward·Inc community. The biggest challenge I face in entering the market is specifically related to the Dutch market and the niche market for my product. I need help with knowledge, networking, and finance to successfully enter the market. While all three are important, financial support is especially crucial as I need to invest a significant amount of money in the first batch of my Product.’

What do you wish for Forward Inc. and all the new entrepreneurs joining?

‘I wish well for Forward·Inc and hope that it can grow bigger in the future. I hope that in the future Forward·Inc can also fund entrepreneurs directly without involving third parties. The work that Forward·Inc does is meaningful for us as newcomers, and I wish for other entrepreneurs not to give up and to keep trying even if things don’t go as planned. In a few years, my dream for MATÉLY is for it to be well-known as a brand in the health and fitness industry, with a community that cares about mental, physical, and social health. I want to focus on students and employees in the near future so that they can become familiar with MATÉLY. I don’t have anything else to add now, but I want to thank you for covering everything.’

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