Univ entrepreneurs: Nathan Lucaussy & Andy Guariglia
In the latest of this series we invited some of Univ’s entrepreneurs to talk about what inspires them and how they got started on their entrepreneurial journey.
Nathan Lucaussy (2017, Computer Science and Philosophy) and Andy Guariglia (2017, Medicine) are co-founders of Angry Monk, a climate-tech startup.
Angry Monk is a venture-backed social enterprise tackling the 10% of global CO2 emissions caused by food waste. We divert surplus food from landfill by redistributing it to canteens and caterers. Founding Angry Monk with Andy Guariglia was a direct result of so many of our shared Univ experiences.
I was visiting friends on the Oriental Studies programme in China, where, living in a monastery, we ate nothing but cabbage for a week. A chance encounter with a monk hungry for a more exciting lunch led us to an all-you-can-eat buffet, where I helped myself to three plates of food. Despite my enthusiasm, this was one plate too many, and the monk flipped from his usual calm composure. Ultimately, I was not able to leave until my plate was licked clean!
Back in Univ, I learnt through my good friend Andy that for every two plates of food consumed in the UK, a third plate is lost to landfill from supply chain inefficiencies – a stark contrast to the third plate I was forced to finish by the angry monk.
Though consumers are able to rescue surplus food through great initiatives like Too Good To Go/Olio, Andy noticed that the biggest, industrial buyers of food were not. At the same time, my Philosophy tutorials were showing how difficult rallying individual consumers in the fight against climate change would be. Suddenly, we had an opportunity to create meaningful change in the food system, and Univ’s head chef helped us with the first clues of what a canteen would look for in a surplus-rescue initiative.
We were lucky enough to be funded by BGV, Europe’s leading tech-for-good VC, and Imperial College, both of which supercharged the early refinements to our product. The first days were gruelling: Andy and I would wake up at 4am to deliver produce around London. Quickly though, Angry Monk grew, fuelled by customer appetite for sustainable procurement and a great support springboard of advisors.
Today, our technology platform helps supply surplus produce to many of the biggest canteens in the UK, from tech companies to London universities and charities. We’ve grown to a team of six, and Andy and I were able to take jobs at McKinsey and Google while contributing to running the company. We’re still very much involved as founders, stewarding through the next phase of growth, and if there’s something I wish I’d known as a student two years ago, it is that a corporate career and social entrepreneurship are not fundamentally incompatible.
To anyone with an idea, I’d recommend biting the bullet and riding the entrepreneurship wave, in confidence that you will come out more employable than before should things ever go South.
And to anyone without an idea, look out for the Andy in your year at Univ! Angry Monk would not exist had we not blended talk of philosophy with entrepreneurial ambitions late at night on Main Quad.
This feature was adapted from one first published in Issue 15 of The Martlet; read the full magazine here or explore our back catalogue of Martlets below:
Published: 2 August 2023