Miia Liesegang and Taina Tallala are the architects behind the direction of a new Finnish startup which wants to make gardening more enjoyable and bring a real product to customers.
With backgrounds in marketing and design, and a foothold in the entrepreneurial world for some time, they decided to team up to create Belightful, a startup aimed at producing butterfly feeders.
The team participated in the Startup Journey accelerator program organized by Boost Turku. “Startup Journey was 10 weeks of intense work, though it taught us how to prioritize and to organize the phases of our work,” said the CMO Taina Tallala. Eventually, they shared the first prize with another startup, Identio.
Winning has been a very important matter for them, as for a startup, creating a business based on a product is very competitive. As CEO Miia Liesegang mentioned, “Nowadays the startup world is filled with startups aiming to develop in the technical and digital direction, while we want to create a product for customers that they can find in the real world”. Miia and Taina have put a lot of effort into developing an idea that was difficult to perceive in Finland. “In Finland, people do not know what a butterfly feeder is and does, as there is not a vast gardening culture”. However, there’s no need for an actual garden: Belightful can be used on balconies, and therefore is directed towards urban citizens.
Butterfly feeders for greener cities
The idea of a new approach to butterfly feeders was there for a while. Miia developed this idea of a design butterfly feeder in 2009. Looking back in 2015, there still wasn’t such a product available in the market, and so she decided to pick it up again from the drawer and push this project .
With the intention of alleviating a dangerous situation in the world’s ecosystem, the duo had been in touch with experts in the field, in order to develop a prototype for their butterfly feeder Belightful. “It has been designed in making it easier to use it and as well, in a way that only butterfly can get the nourishment from the nectar capsule”. In fact, other products currently on the market allow other insects to get fed as the feeders do not follow butterflies’ anatomy (for example: Insects with smaller tongues than the butterfly can reach the nutrients).
A digital platform for the natural world
In order to let the feeder be more interactive and user experience friendly, the team added a digital aspect to it: “We primarily wanted to create a physical design item” said Taina “ But we decided to further implement a digital environment to support our final product, like a mobile app and its own digital community”. Belighted will have both user generated content and provided content. It would be possible to register the feeder on Belightful Butterfly’s platform, share pictures and at the same time receive information about butterflies and their impact on the surrounding environment.
The team is now working on new prototypes to make its design more butterfly-friendly, with the aim of distributing it firstly in U.K., and later on expanding to other markets. Furthermore, their research on the feeding nectar will continue, with the intention to patent their nectar capsule.