Narratè is the winner of Creative Business Cup Italy 2015 edition dedicated to creative entrepreneurship within the FOOD sector. Some days ago we announced it on our social channels and the news has already spread among the startups related to the CBC competition. The business idea was born from a quite varied development team, which on 10th of June 2015 became a limited company named Narrafood that will represent Italy at the CBC competition in Copenhagen from 17th to 19th of November 2015.
As always, we like direct actors to tell their business ideas. Hence, below you will find a brief but intense interview with the Narratè team conducted last weekend. Despite scorching heat, the enthusiasm is not lacking in their story. Congratulations again to Narratè, which is winning their challenges thanks to their creativity, enthusiasm and tenacity.
1. A small book attached to a tea bag. What have you actually produced?
In practice we have developed a narrated tea: Narratè.
It is an innovative food product design, made of a booklet attached to the teabag and the time needed to read the booklet coincides with the infusion time. We namely liquefied culture because, as Baumann would say, a liquid society will need liquid culture. By liquid culture we mean a new way to access cultural contents capable of changing the current paradigm where users move towards culture. We would like to live in a world where culture moves towards people and offers creative ways and “high” entertainment to be accessed and understood. This is what we aim at doing with Narratè.
2. Therefore the booklet contains readings, is that correct?
That’s right, there is a text, but not only. We also foresee the use of different contents: photographs, cartoons and, why not, a digital interaction through qrcode or nfc, then trespassing in multimedia. In any case, beyond the type of contents used, it always coincides with the infusion time that is the real strength of the product: to make cultural entertainment an ingredient, as part of the food preparation and consumption process.
3. What kind of stories are there?
To start, we realized Narratè MILANO and Narratè EXPO. The first tells the soul, the personality, the mood of Milan in 5 minutes. An unpublished surprising and entertaining story written by the Milanese Stefano D’Andrea (who is also a member). The tea mixture used to tell Milan is made up of black tea, cinnamon and saffron (the best known ingredient of the Milanese cuisine). Narratè EXPO telling the story of Expo is based on #expottimisti book written by Giacomo Biraghi and tries to tell its complexity with the simplicity of drinking a glass of water (warm water). The tea mixture was obtained by selecting at least one ingredient from each continent, so as to make the infusion itself universal. Obviously these are the first subjects of a wide range of publishing projects that we already have in the pipeline ranging from food souvenirs (telling the most important cities in the world through knowledge and flavor: a kind of new, essential and synesthetic Lonely Planet), corporate storytelling (by which the values of a brand or event will be told) , cultural speakers (real samples and sips of culture, obtained by extrapolating short meaningful passages from classics of world literature. But even short biographies entitled “A tea with …” where anyone can have tea with Picasso, Gandhi, Gino Strada, etc … proposing an informal and concise way to know great personalities closely).
4. Where do you come from and where do you expect to get? Tell us about the history and entrepreneurial visions of your company
Ours is a rather heterogeneous “Tea’m” that has been formed along the way. Arturo, native of Salerno but resident in a small village in the province of Bergamo, is responsible for food safety (and owner of a company called Food & Consulting); Stefano, a true Milanese, is a writer and manages one of the most beautiful blogs and fb pages (through which I met him) in Milan: Umani a Milano. Then there is Antonio, the administrative soul, who was born in Basilicata but has been living in Milan for decades. He is the solicitor who accompanied me in some of my craziest business adventures. The recent entry of Patrizia, a beautiful and genuine woman from Grosseto, is a social and web expert who created our website and is the female testimonial of Narratè (and precious factotum). I would also like to mention Massimo, a talented lawyer from Milan, who helped us in the preliminary stages by managing the work for equity through which we set our collaboration and Elena, a young employee of the Ukrainian Embassy in Beijing, who allowed us to optimize relationships with Ukrainian suppliers. Finally there is me, the creator of Narratè and CEO of Narrafood srl. Native of Grosseto and architect, I have been living in Milan for almost twenty years and I call myself a rule breaker: I actually break the mould (and not only that, I believe). The high, very high ambition is to try to make the world a better place by consolidating new, effective, models of cultural fruition: creative, hybrid and liquid models. Our business vision is simple: to spread Narratè around the world in order to create new ways of reading and cultural entertainment by connecting food to territories (food souvenirs); to people (cultural speaker); to organizations (corporate storytelling). Beauty, goodness and profit are our aspiring values.
5. What stage have you reached in the development of your start-up?
On 10th of June we became a limited company: Narrafood. The next steps will be related to the market test which will start shortly in Milan at four exceptional locations we have carefully selected: RED – Feltrinelli in Piazza Gae Aulenti; Touring Club Italiano in Corso Italia, Cafe Scala in Via Santa Margherita and Open in Viale Montenero. This will allow us to improve the positioning of the brand and verify the actual approval rating. At the same time we are working to make our development financially sustainable. That is, we aim at getting the resources needed to start the simultaneous production of more editorial projects, so as to diversify the offer and meet different types of consumers. Finally we aim at consolidating alliances and partnerships with companies that may be strategically useful to optimize the production and a widespread distribution.
6. How do you think to exploit the international visibility of the Creative Business Cup 2015?
Given that unfortunately Italians do not read a lot and do not drink much tea, one might say that we are not in the right place to establish Narratè. On the contrary, we are convinced that Italy is the right place to give birth to Narratè, which represents it well in terms of creativity and culture. If anything, we will turn to the rest of the world for its development and growth (after water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world). So we are definitely interested in reaching all those countries and their tourists consuming tea and culture. Furthermore, fortunately, many of these countries are represented by millions of people visiting Italy each year and willing to have “A Tea with Leonardo da Vinci” or buy a cultural Food souvenir of Milan, Rome or Venice. Having the opportunity to present Narratè to an international panel of journalists and investors will allow us to speed up the internationalization process. Also for this reason we would like to express our deepest gratitude and we are honoured to have been chosen to represent Italy in Copenhagen. Thank you!
To learn more about the Narratè world and follow its development please visit www.narreateworld.com.