For many of us who adhere to a plant-based diet, the idea of finding a kindred spirit on a dating app has felt like a pipe dream. We wanted someone we could share meals as well as ideals with, but there was no easy way to filter our options. Luckily, serial entrepreneur Michiel Mol has come to the rescue, developing Veganific, an amazing dating app for plant-based lovers. We got to chat with Michiel to find out about the inspiration behind and inner workings of Veganific, as well as a little bit more about him. Curious? Well, keep reading!
Hi Michiel! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Sure! So I’m Michael, married to the love of my life Marlous and proud father of four super cool kids. You might call me a serial entrepreneur, as I like to invest in every smart business idea that excites me, from starting up Lost Boys, which later grew up to be the biggest internet marketing agency in the world, to owning my own Formula 1 team. Great fun, but it also requires a lot of traveling and getting used to different time zones. To me, a healthy lifestyle is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.
Such a great attitude; if more people saw it as a necessity, the world would be a much healthier place. So we’re guessing you’re a vegan? When and why did you become one?
Well, in all honesty you guessed wrong! I’m more of a flexitarian, as I occasionally do eat chicken or fish, only when I’m 100% satisfied it’s really biological. But to me being vegan is much more than keeping from animal products. It’s a way of looking at life in general, fully respecting it and truly living by that philosophy. A specific state of mind that brings people together, preferably not only when they order food. That’s why I believe so strongly in Veganific.
So quite a holistic approach to your diet. It seems very in line with the Michael Pollan way of eating: eat food, not too much, mostly plants. Have you always been such a healthy eater?
My initially good childhood nutritional habits were violently distorted in my dormitory at Leiden University. I was never a ‘big eater.’ but beers and burgers formed the backbone of my day-to-day student diet. After graduation, my nutritional habits kind of normalised, but it was in fact my wife Marlous that introduced me to a more healthy, partly vegan lifestyle. I became a big fan and, along the way, started understanding the vegan lifestyle better and better. Most vegans are beautiful minds; helping them connects feels really good.
Speaking of connection, we love how you are making it possible for vegan singles out there to connect. Tell us a bit more about your app and the inspiration behind it.
The initial idea for the app came from a vegan guy. He was sharing his story about the challenge of finding a like-minded partner. Throughout his previous relationships he had noticed that not having the same mind-set can bring problems in the long-term. From that story, we created the concept of a dating app where like-minded singles, such as vegetarians and vegans, can find each other and start dating.
Inspiration can truly strike at any moment, and it does sound like a fantastic idea, addressing a real need that’s out there. When did Veganific launch?
The idea of Veganific is already a few years old, but, together with a few entrepreneurs, we’ve finally made the app a reality. It all started with the first meeting on the 13th of February, 2018. One year and one day later, on Valentine’s Day 2019, we released the app. In our opinion, the best day to launch a dating app ;-).
Definitely no better day than the day of love! Obviously it’s geared toward vegans, but is there room for vegetarians on the app? Do you have any plans to expand the app for other diets like paleo or gluten-free?
Correct. The app is currently geared towards vegans and vegetarians. Of course, this can get a broader focus in the future, but this has to be in line with the wishes of the app users. We’ve created a platform where they can meet like-minded singles. If, for example, gluten free is like-minded according to our users, we can definitely add this.
It will be cool to see how the demand shifts and grows as you go along. Do you have any great resources for those of us who want to go vegan or that already are?
Get or stay in contact with other vegans. Share ideas not only about recipes but also about living in harmony with life and nature in general. Get inspired and inspire others; reach out to over a billion other vegans in the world today.
And do you have any great blogs or Instagram accounts – other than The Cold Pressed Juicery, of course – that we should follow to inspire our veg-friendly lifestyles?
There are thousands of them. Personally www.thediscerningbrute.com is one of my favourites, as it’s not only about food, and it’s upbeat, informative and nicely designed.
We’ll have to check that out! Ok, we want to know: do you have one last piece of advice for us?
If you haven’t found your vega-minded partner yet, download Veganific and start dating ;-).