Pontus Walan - BOST
Pontus Walan - BOST #1
Describe the idea:
Our vision is to prevent counterfeiting within the pharmaceutical market as well as prevent tampering with doping samples in sports. We aim to do this by developing a secure container which can be proven genuine and unopened through a built-in “fingerprint”. This fingerprint can be verified through a certificate stored on a blockchain platform. Should the packaging be opened, the fingerprint is destroyed. Any product with an invalid fingerprint is therefore not genuine or opened.
Who are you? Previous education/jobs/ experiences etc.
We are two students who are studying engineering physics in Lund. Jonas has previously worked as a student worker for VentureLab and as a programmer for IBM for over two years respectively. In addition to this, he has been a blockchain enthusiast for more than a year. Pontus is very socially outgoing and has a vast network in the startup and pharmaceutical industry through family and friends.
What will you do during these three months? How will you spend the time?
We expect to spend the largest portion of our time reaching out to potential customers and develop our product based on their feedback as well as researching the markets we are targeting. We may develop several slightly different solutions to fit the specific use case for a certain customer. Furthermore we will be testing the properties and robustness of our solution in the sense of production cost, security, temperature resistance and so forth.
What do you expect to achieve during Leapfrogs?
Our goal is to establish a business network within the different markets we are reaching out to and create a prototype of our product that is suited to the market needs. This prototype will consist of the container as well as the software analyzing the container “fingerprints”. Building on this foundation, we aim to expand our team and start the development of a minimum viable product this autumn.
Tell us what you have done on your projects so far during the Leapfrogs time:
We have contacted several companies and institutions within various markets. From the feedback we have received and our own research we have decided to focus on the anti-doping industry while still pursuing other options, such as the pharmaceutical market. Based on the issues faced by the anti-doping industry we have developed our first physical prototype as well as the software required for the authentication and scanning of the fingerprints.
Has everything gone according to the plan? Has anything unexpected occurred? Has something been easier/harder than expected?
The development of our product has gone very well with a prototype being almost complete. Regarding our research into the different markets we have considered, we have realized that there already exist very good solutions in some of them. Despite this we have found one niche market, anti-doping, for which we believe our product could be a great improvement to current solutions. Finding our focus market has been our greatest challenge so far but we are very confident with the choice we have made.
What will you focus on during the remaining time? Will you follow your original plan or has anything changed along the way?
Our main goal will be to complete a working prototype to present. Once we finish this prototype we will use it to test the robustness of our solution. We will also contact more partners to cooperate with as well as seek feedback from established contacts as we proceed with the development of our product. At this point in time we are still following the original plan and expect to do so for the remainder of the summer.
How did you experience the three months?
Time flew by quickly, however working on the project was incredibly stimulating and fun. Having your own idea differs greatly from working for someone else, since you get energized by the opportunity to explore something you are truly passionate about instead of putting in time just to receive a paycheck. The experience has really inspired us to want to work in startups in the future.
What has been hardest/most enjoyable?
The hardest part was figuring out the next step. We spent a lot of time on trying out ideas that turned out to be dead ends. But this is an important part of the workflow, since you often learn the most from the things that do not work out. The most enjoyable parts were the times when you got into a flow and just ploughed through the workload. It is a great feeling!
Did it go as expected? Will you continue working on your project in the future?
In some respects it did, and in others it did not. We had to adjust our initial plan as we went along, but in the end we did accomplish the overall goals of the project. We still see our idea as a compelling solution to problems within the industry and intend to keep on developing our product in the future.
What would you say is the most important lesson learnt while working on your project?
That sometimes one hour of experiments can save four hours of planning. When discussing different approaches to solve a problem, you can easily get stuck in just reasoning back and forth about what ought to be the optimal solution. In these situations the best approach is usually to just learn what works by trial and error.
Do you have any tips to other ”new” entrepreneurs?
Do not doubt yourselves - if you believe in an idea, just go for it and try it out. The worst that can happen is that it fails, and in that case you have probably learnt a lot from the experience. I would also recommend finding a project which triggers your curiosity. If you do not find working on your project exciting, I doubt you will have the motivation to follow through with it.