Episode 83 | How This Finnish Nomad Found his Calling Dealing ‘Shrooms

 with Four Sigmatic Founder Tero Isokauppila

David Hassell interview David Hassell interview
AWE Episode graphic Tero

Tero Isokauppila radiates an undeniable energy. As soon as you meet him, you can tell he’s got an insatiable curiosity about the world around him.

This 13th generation family farmer has lived in eight different countries, served in the Finnish military, and is currently making plans to fly to the edge of space in a Russian fighter jet.

But his true passion is dealing ‘shrooms.

Tero is the founder of Four Sigmatic, a company whose mission is to make medicinal mushrooms – some of the world’s most researched superfoods – more accessible to everyone. They do this through their best selling mushroom coffee, mushroom elixirs, mushroom cocoas, and other fungi-based products.   

As we discuss in the interview, mushrooms are pretty magical. There are mushrooms that can eat plastic, clean oil spills, and even thrive in irradiated environments.

As much as Tero is an innovator and an unconventional entrepreneur, he’s also seen firsthand how important people are to the process of making a great company. He talks to us about how key hires can help create a brand that people connect with, why he strives to never hold meetings, and the greatest challenge facing emerging CPG brands today.

Key Takeaways

  • Tero explains why he plans to fly to the edge of space in a Russian fighter jet. 3:21
  • The reaction Tero gets when he tells people he’s a “shroom dealer.” 7:40
  • How living in third world countries has affected Tero’s point of view. 14:36
  • How Tero’s relationship with mushrooms began foraging on his family farm in Finland. 15:30
  • The difference between entrepreneurship in Scandinavia and other parts of the world, and why Tero believes the U.S. is the best place on the planet to do business. 16:25
  • Why mushroom coffee is better for you than traditional coffee. 20:00
  • Why it’s important for Tero to go beyond the hype and “snake oil” perception traditionally associated with nutrition products.  21:20
  • Why mushrooms are so diverse and versatile. 23:00
  • The moment Tero knew he had something special with Four Sigmatic. 25:50
  • The greatest challenges facing emerging CPG brands. 30:30
  • Why, at the end of the day, your brand is your people. 32:45
  • Why Four Sigmatic tries never to hold meetings. 41:47
  • Tero describes Four Sigmatic’s cancer contribution program, and why he believes it’s better to have causes you believe in than a “pity product”. 46:10


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