Interview with Iris Braun
Co-founder of Share

Share is based on the 1 + 1 principle. With every Share product a customer buys, they directly help a person in need. Best of all, they can track where their help arrives at any time with the track code on the back of the purchases. Available at REWE & dm and the Share online shop.
Iris, what is share all about? Tell us the story of your founding.
Share was created because we wanted to create an easy and transparent way for people to do something good for people in need. So Share is a social brand in the supermarket where each Share product donates an equivalent product to a person in need. So, for example, for each Share food product, you automatically donate a meal to a person that is not so lucky today and doesn't have a safe source of food and you can track where your donation is going and why it's helping. The Share founding team has a variety of experience both in the NGO as well as in the private sector and we wanted to combine those two worlds to create something that makes it very easy and accessible for people to do something for people that are less well-off and that they might want to help but have no idea how or cannot follow where their donation is going as easily.
How did you come up with the idea for share?
Share was founded after the Share of the Meal app, that was and it is very successful around the world, where you can easily donate a meal a day worth of food to people in need simply by clicking on your smartphone and choosing which project your donation should go to. We wanted to make it even easier for people and more integrated in their daily lives so that people who don't use apps or who are not remembering to use the apps frequently are simply encountering these simple ways to help other people when they do their everyday shopping.
How does share work?
There wasn't a really simple idea. You just go to the supermarket, buy a Share product and automatically you donate an equivalent product to a person in need. That could be, for example, one of our Share bars that looks like this, and on the product, you can follow through the QR code or the tracking code while your donation is going and why it's going in that place, so what you've done to do something good in the world today.
Which yet-to-be-developed technology would make share better?
I think if it was even easier to track where raw material is going and where products are located, then we could really do a one on one matching of each individual product to each individual donation, and that would be fantastic. While this is currently not possible, I think there might be opportunities in the future and I hope that I will be one of the first ones to hear about it.
What does your typical day as a CPO look like?
As with every startup, I think in the world, every day looks pretty different, but what is a component of each of our days is that we're in communication with producers, we're finding out about new product ideas from our retail partners or you know, by asking consumers and getting feedback from them. And then, we think about all the little details that it takes to create a product as well as, and this is unusual and you know our social business approach as well as, which projects can we match this, and we're filtering each product that we're creating through the lens that it has to make sense as an equivalent donation, so with food products it's very clear that for each food product, we donate a meal, with hygiene products, currently we have soap, we're donating a soap because hygiene is still one of the largest killers for children under five, unfortunately worldwide. And with our drink products, we donate a day of clean drinking water, each product that we bring into the shelves like this has to have an equivalent donation. So, we're working everyday both on the social as well as on the product side.
What do you look for in an investor besides money?
Each of our investors has been tremendously helpful to get, to give us the right connections to the people that we need to understand the market better, to understand the products better, and this is really beside money, the most important thing of an investor, for us, is we're not experts in any of the products that we started ,but we are connecting to experts who also want to do good in the world and who are helping us to get the knowledge that we need so that we can create competitive products at a competitive price. And, so far, each of our investors has helped us achieve that and has helped us to connect also to our customers, to our retail customers in a way that gave us the leverage that we couldn't have otherwise had if we had bootstrapped from the beginning.