So far, ZkotZ has sold more than two million products all across the world, exporting 90% of them. Anže Miklavec, founder of ZkotZ, is conquering the world with products such as the Equa water bottle, the cult coffee goat mug and the coffee machine gina (which was their first product with built-in “smart” technology). This year, they’re adding the smart bottle Equa, which uses light signals to remind you to drink water. ZkotZ, which created nearly 3.8 million EUR in revenue last year, with a good 600.000,00 EUR of profit, is now conquering the US, Asia and Europe. And even after eight years of business initiatives, their powers are not waning, says Anže Miklavec. At Manager.finance.si they talked to him about how he built his business success story.
The entrepreneurial student
“During my studies at the Faculty of Economics, I organized parties for high-school graduates and students, worked on video production, marketing, ect. Early on, I wanted to create my own brand. I was also the president of the student section of the Slovenian Marketing Association and member of the Ljubljana business incubator. In order to pay the rent for the incubator, I worked in the morning, and pushed my studies to the side somewhat,” Miklavec remembers. He founded the company ZkotZ in 2009, building a brand of environmentally- and health-friendly plastic and water bottles Equa. “When we started working in the company as students we didn’t know a lot about business and we had to learn everything; how to create a product, lead distribution, or prepare a marketing plan with which we would present the product to the customers.”
The smart solution for staying hydrated and avoiding consuming harmful plastic particles (photo: Equa)
They manufacture Equa bottles in Austria and the Czech Republic. In Slovenia they focus on development as well as the brand and product design. TTheir breakthrough was in 2013 when Equa bottles were placed on the shelves of Slovenian and international retailers. The retailers opened doors to foreign markets, including Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. It was a strong push and in a year they grew from 480.000,00 EUR to more than 670.000,00 EUR in profit. That is nothing compared to the growth that the company started achieving after they created the unusual travel coffee mug in the shape of a goat horn, and launched it on Kickstarter for the first time.
Coffee is sexy and on the rise: the success story starterd with the Goat Mug and is ecalating with Gina and additional coffee products (photos: Goat Story)
The legend and the mug
The coffee goat mug gathered half a million USD in a couple of days on Kickstarter. In 2016 ZkotZ created nearly 1.6 million EUR in sales revenue. Miklavec drew inspiration from the tale of the Ethiopic shepherd Kaldir who noticed that his sheep are awake the whole night after they nibble on the fruit of the coffee tree. “Today, goat mug is being sold very well, mostly in China and the US, while for Equa, our most important market is Europe, followed by Asia and the US,” he explains. Two years later, the entrepreneur upgraded his “coffee portfolio” with gina, a smart coffee machine. Gina was a success on Kickstarter as well; they collected more than half a million USD in 2017 and convinced 2.400 supporters. “This year, an innovative coffee machine is coming to the market, and we are preparing our own coffee line. Specialized quality coffee is an increasingly strong trend in the world, and that is why the brand Goat Story and the coffee segment are expecting more than 300-percent growth in the years 2017 and 2018”.
Read the full article and more about their current projects on Manager.finance.si (in Slovene).