Founder & CEO, Terra Kaffe
Terra Kaffe is on a mission to transform the in-home coffee experience. Our mission starts with a new fully-automatic espresso machine that conveniently brews espresso & specialty coffee from beans, not pods, and is sold D2C. We are tapping into the dramatic increase in espresso consumption & diminished interest in pod machines, due to their eco-impact. Consumers seldom have espresso at home due to cost & complexity, but we want to fix that.
Winner of INSEAD Venture Competition’s Patrick Turner Prize Before starting Terra Kaffe, Sahand was Head of Corporate Development & Strategy at unu motors GmbH, a hardware based direct-to-consumer brand and 4th fastest growing German startup in 2016, managing tasks in R&D strategy, expansion and business intelligence. Prior to unu motors, Sahand worked as investment banking analyst in the US, focusing on tech-enabled businesses
Sahand’s personal brand is defined by intellectual curiosity, having discerning taste, and promoting shared experiences. He credits all that he has accomplished to the steadfast effort and commitment of his parents. Above all else, Sahand values creativity, with a close second being grit. This attitude of hard-work and perseverance was born out of the perspective and principles instilled by his upbringing. Sahand is a first generation born American, and from this developed an innate global perspective and a unique ability to value all the opportunity that comes to the fore.
A Day in My Life:
Favorite breakfast meal:
Double-shot espresso + Pain au Chocolat
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
Surprise surprise, coffee (3-4cups)
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
Spotify / tied between @thingtesting @visualjournal.it.
What should everyone try at least once?
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
In Italy riding a moped
My Native AdVice:
How did you get into the industry?
Had my own ritualistic experience with coffee that I loved and which served as a bonding mechanism for friends and family. Combine that with working in hardware, I felt that I had a unique position to be able pass that shared experience and love of quality coffee with others.
Career advice to those in your industry?
For anyone trying to get into startups:
Be curious. Work hard. Experiment. Get comfortable with uncertainty.
Any emerging industry trends?
Growth of super-auto espresso machines (naturally)
More people experimenting with specialty roast profiles
Aggregation & consolidation among up & coming brands
Collaboration with other health & wellness brands
Upcycling coffee grounds
Ideal experience for a customer/client?
Being heard and having someone there for them when they have questions, concerns or comments. We live an increasingly digital world and therefore need now more than ever to have a personal touch.
How do you motivate others?
By first making an effort to understand what motivates them.
My Native AdVantage:
What are my aspirations?
Professional – make an indelible impact in how and what we consume
Personal – stay close to friends and family, give back, and have fun.
Don’t trade what you want the most for what you want at the moment.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
Business – Phil Knight
Personal – Theodore Roosevelt