Mai Goth Olesen

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Mai
Goth Olesen
Mealsaver
Founder / CEO
Germany
Berlin

I am from Denmark, living in Berlin.

Engineering

What fills me with energy in my daily work is being literally “constructive”: building up a business with social impact and creating a more sustainable economy. I love connecting dots and the most important for me is being passionate about what I am spending my time on. It makes me happy to feel that I am having an impact, when I enable people to do what they like, what they are good at and what gives meaning to them.

Why a startup? I did a successful startup before together with the founder, and this made we very excited about this lifestyle/way of working. For me a job should be more than work. I love building up teams and creating something together.
Why food waste? I am an Environmental engineer by training, and I have always seen waste as a starting, not as an end point. I did a lot of dumpster diving while living in Copenhagen and I organized small get-togethers with the perfectly edible food I got from the bins. Then I became a part of the organisation foodsharing in Germany and continued to see how much food gets wasted unnecessarily. Based on these experiences, I wanted to make the fight against food waste accessible for even more people and allow everyone to understand this big global problem by saving food easily. This is what we now make possible at MealSaver.

MealSaver is an App that connects restaurants that have surplus food with people who are looking for food. You find a restaurant, café or bakery you like, buy the discounted meals online, pick up your food in bio-degradable boxes and enjoy. The MealSaver result: happy restaurant owners, happy eaters, and a greener environment. We are a social start-up based in Berlin and launched in mid-2016. The vision of MealSaver is a waste-less food system. We want to reach this by creating easy, environmentally and economically viable alternatives to wasting food. Overall, we believe in the power of partnerships to multiply knowledge and resources and prevent food waste for good.

It was very challenging to build up a company with the German bureaucracy, especially when you are not German and still learning the language.
Also, I believe in ”flat” organizational structures with few hierarchical levels and that teams do not need a boss but a leader. Most people are used to other structures, which can make this a little complicated at times.

Right now, scaling our small social business is where we can benefit from most support - this includes a bigger and experienced management team, strong partnerships and … get in touch with me, I am looking forward to hearing yours on this!

Believe in yourself and trust your intuitions. Choose a job you love then you do not have to work a day in your life ;) Build on a team you trust, respect and have fun with!

Sometimes your dad is actually right :D