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Ever felt like you've lost yourself? Like the person you once were is just a distant memory? That's how I felt at forty. My carefree partying, drinking, and junk-food-fuelled life had caught up with me. I was overweight, exhausted, and lacking joy.

That was the start of my journey into self-discovery, transformation, and innovation. That's also how I started Winemill, with the larger aim of helping others achieve better health and happiness.

Growing up in Scandinavia, well-being was highly valued, a societal norm. But despite it, I saw many of my fellow countrymen and women struggling with unhealthy habits, like I was. I wanted to help people break these habits.

I have never been a fan of group therapy or counseling. Instead, I found "life guidelines" online and printed them out. Every night before bed, I would read through them, underline the most impactful parts, and make notes on the key takeaways. It took a while to realize that all the truly important life principles are exactly the same everywhere – whether you hear them in therapy or find them online. What counts is action.

Through positive thinking and taking action, transformation followed. I cut down on sugar and carbs and moderated my alcohol consumption – and lost 26 kilos (57 lbs). During the same time, I was alarmed to learn that wines’ alcohol content had grown stronger and stronger over the years. I wanted to continue indulging in my favorite drinks but without the added negatives. This gave birth to a revolutionary idea – a machine that could lower the alcohol content of wine and other drinks without killing taste.

I found a new passion for wine science, distilling, and dealcoholization techniques. I devoured every book, article, and website I could find. I learned about the inner workings of commercial dealcoholization plants (they’re massive!) and was fascinated by the science and technology behind it all.

With this, I approached Kalevi Ekman, Professor of Machine Design at Aalto University, sharing my vision of a  miniaturized dealcoholization plant. Impressed by my “crazy ideas” and determination, he welcomed me into the Aalto Design Factory Product Development Project, a hub of international engineers and product designers. Over the following year, we explored the science behind reducing alcohol, and I was thrilled to see my vision become reality.

Just 24 hours after filing a 24 page international patent, an early iteration of the Winemill was showcased at the Slush investor event in Helsinki. Winemill for wine was officially launched last year, and Winemill for spirits a few months ago, allowing people to enjoy their favorite drinks with lower alcohol content and reducing the risk of overindulging and negative health effects.

In small but faster and faster steps, Winemill is revolutionizing the entire industry, and the way people consume alcohol. Likewise, I hope my story inspires you to embark on a journey towards a healthier and happier you. Think positive, take action, don’t give up – these steps worked for me. I hope they do for you, too.

- Sam

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