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Meet the Founders - Terps & Co.

Lose the booze, but not the feels. That’s the tagline of Terps & Co, a non-alcoholic, plant-based beverage company that is on a mission to share the benefits of terps with the world.

“Our challenge for ourselves is to give people a better version of their experience with alcohol, without taking away the things they love about it.”

Meet the founders of Terps & Co. James Crow, Arjun Narayanan and Arjun Bhargava. They are one of the start-ups taking part in our three-month Sprout 2022 Accelerator in the Cohort VIII intake. The dynamic trio first met when the two Arjun’s requested to meet with James to talk about terpene drinks and work together. An exciting conversation ensued, but it wasn’t until a Christmas party the next day that got the cogs in his head-turning, and the idea for Terps and Co was born.

“After the party, I had to fly back home, so I didn’t intend on drinking. So I did what everyone does as I sat at the bar with my mocktail. I looked behind the bar, and all I saw was ethanol. I kept thinking back to the conversation I’d had with the Arjun’s about how fantastic terpenes are and what they could do for the mind and body. Then I thought, what I need is a terpene-based drink,” said James.

The lack of alternatives for alcohol was a market the Arjun’s had noted already, so when James came to them with the idea, they immediately said yes.

“People want to have clearer heads and be more aware of what they’re consuming. People don’t want the two-day hangover. They want to wake up the next morning and feel good without missing out on the experience of alcohol. That’s where terpenes are the perfect vehicle to replace ethanol for that drinking ritual.”

The trio says that their business is about more than just saying ‘Drink Terps & Co because we don’t have alcohol, it's about creating a product as good as, if not better than drinking alcohol, something that will give the same experience. 

They’re uniquely placed in the market at the only full-strength terp on the market. It’s a world-first product that the team sees as the second generation of alcohol alternatives where the product, once consumed, has a positive effect on the mind and body. Terpenes are aromatic compounds present naturally in plants. They work by binding to receptors and neurotransmitters in the brain, regulating emotions. 

When it came to putting a name to their business, the team came up with an assortment of ‘flowery’ and out there names but with the help of their significant others, landed on Terps & Co.

“People still want to feel like they’re drinking alcohol, and that’s the problem with some of the non-alcoholics on the market is the names are outrageous. Often when people say ‘I’m out on the turps’ they mean drinking hard. Our terps, with an ‘E’ instead of a ‘U’ is a different way of doing that. It’s quite the conversation starter which we love.”

Their goal is a simple one—100% normalisation for ‘ some’ percentage of the market. The team want to see non-alcoholic beverages normalised and more options available.

“Covid has helped a bit here, regular drinking isn’t sustainable in recent years, so we’ve seen an increase in the uptake of non-alcoholics. The problem has been that people will buy it once but not again, that’s what we're setting out to change.”

One of the key parts of the success of their business has been down to the dynamic between the founding three. Each brings something different to the table; James brings the confidence and business acumen and both Arjun’s bring expertise in terpenes and a feel for innovation.

“Carefully picking your founders in a business is important. You want people that you’re happy to work through the highs and lows with but can also have a laugh with. I didn’t know the Arjun’s until they asked to meet with me, and I knew very early on that these were people I could work well with.”

The trio hopes to gain valuable knowledge and networks from their time working with Sprout and a plan to raise capital so they can ensure the success of their unique business.

Find out more about our Sprout Accelerator.