When the Hatch team announced that they were hosting a Meet the Drapers season 6 episode in Sri Lanka, Chanchala, a fellow food entrepreneur and friend, urged us to apply. Dulara, the Nootz founder and chef, felt that Tim Draper, who is predominantly a tech-heavy investor from Silicon Valley, would not see the value in an innovative beverage brand. Nonetheless, Dulara was adamant that the world needs to know about the world’s first, pure coconut smoothie, how it was invented and why it is important for both the consumer and the upstream communities in Sri Lanka.
From the initial applicant list, Nootz was shortlisted to pitch virtually to a panel of judges from Hatch, and the Draper Startup House . We were then informed in January that we were selected for the final 4 to go live on the episode. The other finalists included Spectrify – an artificial intelligence company, Hyperglade – a blockchain company and Rhoda – an electric motorbike company.
During the time of the shooting, the Nootz team was fresh off the product launch after nearly 2 years of R&D. The Meet the Drapers episode was the first time Nootz pitched the brand to an investor group. Nonetheless, we used the session to share with the judges what #goingNootz really meant. Apart from being a vegan, coconut milk based smoothie with tropical fruit from Sri Lanka, the Nootz ultimate mission is to create a culture of innovation rarely seen in the Sri Lankan agri and F&B ecosystem. And thereby, uplift the farming and processing communities who have long been forgotten in the unethical global value chains.