In the premiere episode of Accelerating Brands — a new video series from ForceBrands in partnership with SKU — we go behind the scenes of Tend Prenatal with Co-Founder Behzad Varamini, Ph.D. as he shares the story behind the company, advice for fellow founders, and how he’s leveraging data to empower business decisions.
Read the interview with Varamini below:
Hi, my name is Behzad and I’m the co-founder of Tend. Tend makes the first real food prenatal as a bar. It’s a delicious snack that provides all the vitamins and minerals you need for pregnancy.
You might ask, why would I be interested in pregnancy? When my wife and I wanted to start a family, she struggled to take those large, smelly prenatal pills in preparation for pregnancy. My Ph.D. research is in prenatal nutrition so I put together ingredients from fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds to provide her all the nutrients that those synthetic pills were providing her, but in a yummy, delicious, snackable form that she could enjoy every day.
Our hero product is a prenatal snack bar. We envision a world where we can make snacks for the entire family, replacing the synthetic nutrients that you find in gummies, pills, and powders with everyday snackable nutrition that brings people together and is focused on food and delight.
One of the biggest challenges is scaling. We make everything in-house, ourselves as far as production. We’re looking at different ways to outsource that to a co-manufacturer and have marketing that can support that scaling so that we can drive awareness toward this product and this new way of nourishment in this stage of life.
On inspiring founders
Keep remembering your purpose. Keep remembering the problem you’re trying to solve and talk to consumers. Talk to consumers. Talk to people who you are intended to serve. Get to know their needs and that’ll help you adjust and respond, and create something that can really fit someone’s problem and solve a big problem.
The most valuable thing we’ve learned is to make decisions based on data. I’m so strongly intuitive — I just have feelings about things and if they’ll work or not. There’s so much consumer data and insight that we’ve drawn from the mentors and their recommendations that you can really build models on a spreadsheet and make decisions based on real data. So that’s what we’re trying to do for this next stage of our company.
Accelerating Brands is a video series from the leader in strategic hiring for consumer brands, ForceBrands, in collaboration with the nation’s first consumer packaged goods accelerator, SKU. The series goes behind the scenes of today’s most exciting, emerging consumer brands. Accelerating Brands explores conversations with founders and entrepreneurs launching innovative, industry-disrupting startups. Each featured brand has been selected to participate in SKU.