Meet the man who introduced goji berries to the west

Meet the man who introduced goji berries to the west

As one of the Professors of Practice appointed by La Trobe Business School, Antony Jacobson has plenty of international experience to bring to the table.

Hailed as an innovator and global success-story, Antony Jacobson is an Australian entrepreneur who seizes an opportunity when he sees it. In the early 2000s, Antony Jacobson started Tibet Authentic, the company that popularised goji berries globally and presented one of the first foods to the global market that would later become part of the global ‘Superfoods’-trend.

Although always contemplating his next entrepreneurial venture, Antony says ‘I wasn’t looking to revolutionize the global health food market at the time. I had been running my own franchise and licensing business in Melbourne and globally, and I could feel that I was overworked. That’s why I decided to travel to Tibet, in the Himalayas.’

When Antony Jacobson arrived in Tibet, one of the things that he was captivated by were goji berries. ‘While I was living in the Tibetan mountains, I saw women and children eating these little wild pink berries, and smearing them on their skin and hair as well. I wondered about the effects of this, since the lifespan of people living there seems to be a lot greater than the lifespan of people living in the West.’

After doing some research, he discovered that these fruits were goji berries, and that they can have an enormous positive impact on things like healthy skin and hair, as well as being a valuable source of vitamins and minerals for anyone consuming them.

‘Seeing the huge effect these berries had on people living in Tibet, I was keen to share these fruits with the rest of the world,’ Antony says.

‘If you pilot a good business idea, the idea needs to be rational and profitable sure, but most importantly, it should also make a positive impact on the community around you.’

Antony approached the Tibet government about setting up a framework to produce berries, making sure that the country would benefit from exporting goji berries as well.

Soon after, he was selling authentic Tibetan goji berries on a global market, with prestigious stockists and stores in Australia and countries such as the UK, USA, Spain, The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. The brand Antony set up received enormous international press and was hailed as a true pioneer of the global superfruits market, now a billion dollar industry.

Aside from setting up successful global businesses, Antony Jacobson has commercialised significant technology and internet related intellectual property like Having seen the potential in the early nineties, with the rise of the internet, Antony decided to secure significant internet related domains and I.P that are worth significant amounts today.

‘I’ve always been an avid fan of technology. When the internet was developed, I saw the potential in it as a huge communication tool, which made me secure intellectual property back in the early 1990s, like, and many others.’

When asked whether he has any tips for beginning entrepreneurs, Antony’s passionate nature shines through: ‘Be bold, take risks, but do so in an intelligent informed manner, use you passionate heart and intelligent mind in all that you do’.

Antony says if you believe, you can achieve. ‘I strive to always make the community a factor in my decision-making process. Because of this, I was attracted to the position at La Trobe Business School: the values La Trobe Business School holds when it comes to community and sustainability, align closely with my own perspective on what constitutes a good entrepreneur,’ Antony says.

‘After all, my business philosophy has always been to think 51 per cent with your heart, and 49 per cent with your brain.’

First published on La Trobe’s Business School blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *