Check out our exclusive interview with Paul Sintnicolaas, co-founder of MOYU, which makes notebooks out of stone paper. You can erase and rewrite your notes up to 500 times on these - how cool is that?! Alright, let’s get more insights from Paul.
Could you tell us a bit more about the industry in which MOYU operates? 📜
Almost no one is aware of the fact that the paper industry is three times as polluting as the global flight industry. It makes a significant negative impact on the footprint and CO2-emissions. Recycling of paper costs a lot of energy and water and is not an ideal solution either. We had to find something to meet the requirements of the still growing paper demand that is expected to be doubled by 2030...
What is MOYU and what does it do? 🤷
MOYU is a fast growing sustainable scale-up that creates re-usable paper products from stone waste. During the production process of stone paper, we reduce 67% of the CO2-emissions compared to the production of paper. Even though stone paper is still a relatively new and unknown material, more and more people are switching to writing on stone paper. Not only because of the sustainable aspect of it, but also because it makes it easier for its users to create more overview and structure in notes, tasks and projects. For each MOYU notebook, we replace 15 regular notebooks on average which saves 4.5KG paper per piece. That's a lot of KG's paper in total! We not only prevent trees from being cut down, we also invest in reforestation by planting one tree per sold notebook. We do this together with our local community Trees for Kenya. Our dream? To reforest our planet and boost vital ecosystems in which human beings, animals and nature can thrive together.
As the co-founder, what made you want to start this adventure? 🙌
Ever since I started my entrepreneurial journey more than 6 years ago, three things always motivate me: growth, people and the growth of people. Because of the amazing sustainable vision of the other co-founder Roel Schatorje and the proven product-market fit, nothing could stop me from raising this new born child MOYU as quickly as possible.
What’s your favorite success story so far? 🚀
Every start-up has its story. From a personal standpoint, I feel completely responsible for the business and marketing side of MOYU and so I take responsibility in every failed situation, but it also makes me proud if we reflect on the customers who joined our mission. Before the pandemic, Roel and I literally drove to offices from big companies and talked to people to get our foot in the door to share our mission. From a team standpoint, it makes me proud that we have reacted so quickly on the major setbacks that we had in 2020, like an unexpected Facebook ban for 5 weeks, production mistakes which resulted in hundreds of unhappy customers and big logistic problems. Without the speed and creativity in the process we could have never achieved what we actually achieved.
Lastly, I’m proud of the HR choices we are currently making. We have a kick ass team, thanks to the people who fit perfectly in our culture, who believe in our mission and who all have a “get-shit-done mentality”. As a result of these successes so far, we managed to grow from 2 to 8 full time employees and were able to plant over 20.000 trees.
Any advice for people looking to start a business in your industry? 🎤
A lot. But I will keep it simple and will copycat Nike: just do it. There will never be a perfect moment to start, so don’t wait for it. Surround yourself with like-minded people, control the things you can control and execute. Set goals, go all-in and dare to quit and switch to another idea if it does not work out. I have never heard of a successful story without a lot of failures.
Did having a bunq business account help when starting up? 🌈
For us, the main advantage was flexibility, like international payments, having credit cards and automating our bookkeeping.
Let’s spread some positivity. What motivates you to get up in the morning? ❤️
The reason I’m 95% of the time “on track” is being consistent in sleep, working out and nutrition. For me, this is fundamental to work on a daily basis on my dreams and motivation: working with the most awesome people on the greatest things for a good cause. Freedom is an essential part for me to keep doing the things I love.
Awesome! Thanks for sharing MOYU’s story with us! 🤗
Have any questions for Paul, or simply want to connect? You can find him here.