Linnea Wenäll - Basal Femistry
Blog post #1
Describe the idea!
Hormonal contraception used today often come with several nasty side effects, while algorithms have shown to fail in their fertility prediction due to user input from manual basal body temperature readings. Apart from problems arising from fertility control, some experience symptoms caused by a high pH in the vagina. Basal Femistry aim to increase sexual and reproductive health by a vaginal ring that continuously regulates pH and measures basal body temperature.
Who are you?
I have always had a strong interest in sexual and reproductive health. Thanks to studying Biomedical Engineering at LTH I have accumulated a skillset that bridges the gap between technology and health. During my first few years studying in Lund, I worked at VentureLab where I got to know Sweden’s startup scene. Before I started my university studies I spent a few years living and working abroad.
What will you do during these three months? How will you spend the time?
- Customer research to further establish customer needs
- Literature review of recent publications and products
- Meet with professionals in gynecology and obstetrics to discuss product design
- Gather knowledge regarding what hardware to use
- Establish a plan towards CE compliancy
What do you expect to achieve during Leapfrogs?
- Have a clear view of customer needs
- Be up to date with the latest innovations and research in the area
- Have a better understanding if the concept is viable or not
- Have reached a point where I can start making prototypes with integrated electronics
Blog post #2
Tell us what you have done on your project so far during the Leapfrogs time.
So far, main focus has been on building up a structure for CRM and internal tasks. Starting out with customer research being my main focus, I published a survey in multiple Facebook groups. The survey was designed with open questions trying not to affect the outcome of the answers. Within less than 24 hours, the survey resulted in over 320 participants opening up about their reproductive, sexual and vaginal health.
Has everything gone according to the plan? Has anything unexpected occurred? Has something been easier/harder than expected?
So far, things have gone somewhat according to the plan where customer research was my starting point. However, I have realised that everything takes longer than expected. Going through the feedback from the survey will take me weeks and not just days, for example, as many of the answers are very long and sincere. Going through the answers has also been harder emotionally on me than I expected, as they are very heartfelt and the pain many women and/or others go through really shows in the answers.
What will you focus on during the remaining time? Will you follow your original plan or has anything changed along the way?
As things will take longer than expected, I will completely dedicate the remaining time for customer research and product development to fit customer needs. This means, my plan has changed to be the following:
- Go through the survey completely
- Brainstorm sessions based on survey answers
- Customer research to confirm product viability
This will be done by organizing the answers from the survey into categories of needs, different brainstorming sessions and tools as well as contacting those who undertook the survey to confirm product/idea viability resulting from brainstorming sessions.
Blog post #3
How did you experience the three months?
Time spent working on the project was truly interesting and I believe that the knowledge acquired during these months will help me in the future, whether it is within this project or another one. After all, I’m happy with having done pretty extensive costumer research, setting a good base for future advances.
What has been most difficult and what has been most enjoyable?
The most difficult has been staying on track with tasks and not jumping from one task to another, trying to get them done at the same time. The most enjoyable was all the positive feedback I received from friends, acquaintances and complete strangers, validating the need for development within reproductive, sexual and vaginal health.
Will you continue working on your project in the future? If so, what is your next step?
The project will definitely continue in some form, but during my exchange I will put it on hold and get back to it in spring. Once I am back in Sweden, I will continue with an iterative process of customer research to confirm product viability.
What would you say is the most important lesson learnt while working on your project?
The most important lesson would be not to expect too much from the time you had. I also learnt, that running a solo project makes distributing your time harder and that input from other people benefits the project.
Do you have any tips to other new entrepreneurs?
Try to use some kind of CRM management tool to manage your tasks and customers/potential customers. This will make it easier staying on track, as you know what your plan is for the day already when coming to “work”. Also, schedule work hours. It is easier to put in the hours if you have planned for them to happen.