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Vera Kutsenko: Community building & houseplants
In the first installment of Startup Foundations in 2022, we chat with Vera Kutsenko, co-founder & CEO of Neverland — a marketplace and an online community for houseplant enthusiasts.
About This Episode
In the first episode in 2022, we chat with Vera Kutsenko, co-founder & CEO of Neverland — a marketplace and an online community for houseplant enthusiasts.
Vera explains where she got the idea to start Neverland, and discusses the process of building a two-sided marketplace connecting plant lovers with gardening shops across the US. She shares some details about the educational functionality of their app, which includes guidance and support around taking care of houseplants.
Vera talks us through the process of building an online community in an almost cult-like space of houseplant aficionados, and how they’ve used the content-first strategy to validate what consumers want. She also shares what tactics worked for her in the fundraising stage, including tips on how to effectively cold email VCs.
Vera and Greg also discuss the emotional relationship that people have to plants, where it comes from, and how Neverland tries to leverage that sentiment to appeal to the younger generation and ultimately contribute to building empathy and care for nature.