Entrepreneurship: From the Netherlands to Carroll County



Natasha, left, and her sister Bianca are both co-founders of the Dutch endurance drink, Predator. Predator has started its journey to the U.S. recently.

Jordan Ladd, editor

Sisters Bianca and Natasha have both had their share of late-nighters when it comes to school work. While in university, both were self-proclaimed “procrastinators,” and as any well-versed procrastinator knows, they needed a way to stay up late at night to complete assignments.

The sisters turned to what many people use for a late night study session—some good old- fashioned caffeine. For these two, Red Bull was the option they chose. However, after consuming quite a bit of it, Bianca began to notice some strange effects. “I started to have this tickling in my throat, and I started to panic. I was thinking, ‘What is going on?’.” It turned out that that tickling was Bianca’s heartbeat, which was racing so fast she could feel it in her throat.

After Bianca’s experience, the sisters realized that they needed to look for a healthier alternative to drink. However, as hard as they searched, they just couldn’t find one. “There simply wasn’t one [on the market],” said Natasha. And so, the sisters started envisioning a product that would be both healthy, tasty, good for the environment, and endurance-producing.

Fast forward a couple of years, and the sisters now own a small company, making a drink called Predator. “Predator is an all natural endurance drink, not an energy drink.” The fact that Predator is an endurance drink, not an energy drink, is their claim to fame. Instead of using sugar, the drink uses ‘super herbs’ that enhance both the flavor and nutrient content of the drink.

Predator started out as a small company based in the Netherlands, but it has since moved transatlantic. However, with the move to becoming a bigger company means competition with some of the bigger drink companies, such as Coca-Cola, or Red Bull. Natasha has seen firsthand the effects that the bigger companies can have on the common people. “I spent some time living in the Congo. There, Coke was cheaper than water! I gave a tip to a man who helped me with my bags, and he replied that he could use the money to buy Coke!”

That experience stuck with Natasha, and the mission for their company evolved out of it. “Our mission is to inspire you to live a healthy life while following your fullest potential,” the  Predator website states.

A healthy lifestyle isn’t the only thing the company promotes. Part of the reason the company is called Predator in the first place is because of their pact to donate to the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) Predator Protection Plan. With every can of Predator sold, the company donates a percentage to the WWF Tiger Fund. The money is used to stop poaching and build a better environment for predators.

Predator just recently launched their first U.S. store in Camden, Indiana. At the Cornerstone Cafe, you can buy either an Apple and Peach or Blackcurrant and Mangosteen Predator can for $2.50. However, this is just the start. Natasha and Bianca both met with Mitch Daniels, the President of Purdue University, and Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb at the Forbes Summit to show the product and how it can impact college campuses and Indiana as a state.

Entrepreneurship is not  just for adults; in fact, DCHS has a few of its own student entrepreneurs. Senior Jonas Brown takes aerial photos using his drone. Using these photos, the companies can analyze crop location and better locate crops to produce maximum produce. Other people have utilized Jonas’s services to more efficiently locate obstacles on a specific plot of land. He has also helped the school with some promotional photographs and videos. At this point, any money Jonas has made has gone toward paying off a business loan, but by gaining experience to add to his resume, he is confident these ventures will pay off.

Another senior entrepreneur is Noah Abbott. When he was 14, Noah started buying vehicles, fixing them up, and reselling them. Along with that, he is starting up a workout site, www.rippedupfitness.net that provides personalized workout exercises to the user.

Education leaders are recognizing the importance for students to become entrepreneurial. DCHS Principal Mrs. Circle said, “If we do not educate our students to be innovative or have a spirit of entrepreneurship, we are missing a huge new “need” of our society.  We need critical thinkers that can solve our world’s problems, create new opportunities and develop new products.”

Things are looking up for Natasha and Bianca’s business. They are hoping to eventually start producing Predator in the U.S., and are well on their way to becoming a company rivaling that of the big drink companies. However, the sisters know that their dream goes beyond the product they offer. “Entrepreneurship opens us up from society’s restrictions. It gives us the option to follow our passion and instinct.” Just like a Predator.