Sriram Thoppe Rajendran – Probiotify
Sriram Thoppe Rajendran - Probiotify #1
Describe yourself and your project. How did you get the idea?
Our project idea is to probiotify the products in the supermarket using a universal package design. For example, with our innovative design, you could basically transform any normal product like an ordinary can of juice into a probiotic juice. Consumers usually spend a lot to buy a range of probiotic products, but our solution makes it economical while more products of choice could be made probiotic.
Who are you? Previous education/jobs/ experiences etc.
I am a 24 old enthusiastic Biomedical Scientist with uncanny inter-disciplinary approach. I have just received Masters in Biomedical Methods and Technology from Malmö University. I have experience in working on real time industrial projects with Novozymes and a pharmaceutical consortium (Bioglan, Emeriti Pharma and Galenica) during my Masters. Gained special knowledge in assay development for enzyme characterization and biodevice development during my Master thesis.
What will you do during these three months? How will you spend the time?
Our idea right now is just in concept stage. We need to iterate and work on our prototype while trying to understand the regulatory requirements for product development. We will also try to seek expert opinions, and try to establish communication with leading packaging companies to understand their perspective for our design integration.
What do you expect to achieve during Leapfrogs?
We aim to understand the market landscape clearly with the inherent regulatory challenges. The ultimate goal is to establish proof-of-concept and work towards a patent.
Sriram Thoppe Rajendran - Probiotify #2
Tell us what you have done on your project so far during the Leapfrogs time.
We initially started to understand the market for probiotics and tried to reach out to a leading packaging company to know the feasibility of our product integration into a standard beverage package. We got the perspective of what the packaging companies can do and it was certainly a very valuable knowledge for us to go forward. We now have a prototype! Yay!!!
Has everything gone according to the plan? Has anything unexpected occurred? Has something been easier/harder than expected?
No! Although we have done a good amount of work so far, we are still yet to understand the regulatory challenge and technological feasibility very clearly. In our case, both are inter-linked. Further, we are yet to identify a suitable lab to establish our proof of concept.
What will you focus on during the remaining time? Will you follow your original plan or has anything changed along the way?
We will try to iterate and try to improve our prototype further. Also try to put in significant efforts in patent application. We will also actively seek partnership from probiotics manufacturers for our product development. Of course we need to apply for grant to go ahead from here!
Sriram Thoppe Rajendran - Probiotify #3
How did you experience the three months?
Three months working on the project has been very exciting for me. This project is probably the first project I am undertaking without any supervision. I could clearly reflect the aspects that I can do well and things that I might have to seek help. I spent majority of my time at Malmö University and also got valuable feedback from my Master’s classmates
What has been hardest/most enjoyable?
The most enjoyable part was that I was able to meet new people and do some interesting networking. Further, my understanding continually evolved around the product development as I got input from different people
The hardest part was getting our final product design for a minimal viable product. We are yet to come up with a good looking prototype. Also, only when we ventured into 3D modeling our product, we realized a universal cap in not possible. Rather, we decided into venture into a particular product category.
Did it go as expected? Will you continue working on your project in the future?
Initially, we were very ambitious about our goals for this summer. The product design seemed to be more complicated than we anticipated. It could have been nice to do a small lab scale evaluation of our product design. Unfortunately, due to time constraints for the available lab space, we could not do much in that direction. Nevertheless, with our upcoming 2nd prototype, it could be interesting to carry out few basic studies in the lab.
Yes, we will certainly continue to work on our project as we firmly believe in the potential of the idea. We will pursue to get required data for filing a patent, but we are not sure about the timeline.
What would you say is the most important lesson learned while working on your project?
A critical aspect I learned during the summer is setting up priorities. Sometimes, we gave priorities to things which we could have avoided altogether from the product design perspective. However, we are still satisfied with our comprehensive approach. With our approach, we were able to evolve the design aspect constantly. For instance, we got some interesting information from the patent search report we received. Having this report helped us to tweak our design, which is otherwise impossible to do if we were doing things one at a time.
Do you have any tips to other ”new” entrepreneurs?
Don’t follow anyone rigorously. We might have a lot of inspiring people around with different capabilities; we can draw a lot of learning from them. Still having your owb style, things that work better for you is much helpful in the individual context. The only mindset to have to be an entrepreneur is “constant problem solver”.