Lean Orb, Founder/CEO
Industry: Compostable Packaging
LinkedIn: Anastasia Mikhalochkina
I want us to build better solutions to plastic crisis and do it faster. We are certain the transition won’t be easy but everyone’s contribution to circular economy is the only clear path to global environmental stability.
Lean Orb is a Miami-based company specializing in compostable foodservice packaging. We design and supply disposable take-out containers, cups, plates, cutlery and straws for any customers that serve food on the go. The materials we target are post-consumer waste, highly renewable and have an upside to the end of life challenges.
THE BIG IDEA:
Every year 180 billion plastic disposables are discarded by the foodservice industry. Today 78% of marine life has traces of micro plastics. Being the waterfront community gives us responsibility to protect our coastal waters since the waste discarded in our home state will affect communities thousands of miles away. We believe that everyone everywhere should have access to compostable solutions and our core responsibility is to build quality product and educate customers.
ON GROWING UP/LIVING IN MIAMI:
Miami has been home for over 7 years. It’s transformation in the years I began visiting the city a decade ago to where it is now is profound. I enjoy its cultural diversity, aesthetics, food, sounds but as a founder I also get to challenge the city for its ability to fuel local economy with young innovative companies. I’m hopeful that Miami becomes more of a hub where others come to build ideas vs only spend vacation days under the sun.
The good news is that we are seeing a lot of momentum for health, wellness and sustainability entering region’s start-up arena. Next step would be to re-direct local investment capital to support growth in those categories. No matter how much investors had shifted away from traditional sectors, which they had, it really hasn’t deviated enough. Besides the unicorn companies, there are many “non VC” type small to medium size businesses that are quietly building a sustainable economy for the city. Many of those are women-owned and women-led.
ON GENDER DISPARITY:
Historically speaking, women bring better returns to their investor backers. Watching female founders, I realized how some of us go an extra mile for ideas and work to be taken seriously especially those who look to raise capital.
ON BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR:
It’s a challenging journey with a serious social conditioning around every corner so before you start, ask yourself why it’s important to bring this product to the market. Next, be ready to learn how to do something you had never done before every single day.
The uncertainty of start-up life is uncomfortable and you would need to learn to love the process cause that’s the only way to growth.
ON WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT:
Women empowerment to me is avoiding unnecessary competition, and keeping laser focus on your long-term creation. We are empowered by others who actually execute their projects so I try to give back by committing myself to the company. Little girls all over the world are taking notes but they need more than a strong narrative. We need to tell stories that changed their future realities. It is only possible if we don’t fail to put enough time and effort. Most women I admire spent decades building.
Our company is currently raising it’s seed round. We are looking for strategic partners to help us manage this year’s milestones.
#MIAMIFOUNDER campaign celebrates Miami’s top 30 Female Founders for their significant innovative contributions today and tomorrow. With the generous support from the Knight Foundation and with the help from the (WIN) Lab Miami we want to tell the story of Miami as a place where women lead, innovate and engage in meaningful entrepreneurship. JOIN THE CONVERSATION