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Drop

An electronic antiperspirant device


Date:
03/09/2015

the begin

“Hyperhidrosis is abnormally excessive sweating that’s not necessarily related to heat or exercise. You may sweat so much that it soaks through your clothes or drips off your hands.”

As I finished to read the definition of the term in Google, I realized I was one of them. I wasn’t aware of how serious the problem was and thought before that moment, I was the only weirdo with sweaty hands in the whole planet. Nevertheless, in that five meters squared room of a Starbucks Coffee’s building, I decided that solving my personal problem was going to be my first business idea.

the mit experience

“Drink from the firehose of innovation”, “Team-focused”, “Join the global community”

Those were the statements I’ve encountered during my studies at MIT Bootcamp, a global entrepreneurship program that teaches the fundamentals of running a startup from scratch. Those foundations were the pillar of my entrepreneur journey.

the team

“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

I recruited Omar and Marco, two fantastic professionals of different backgrounds, who enrolled in this adventure and believed in the mission of improving people’s health. This image was from our first startup competition which we won and obtain our first cash prize to start Drop.

the startup chile experience

“Start-Up Chile is the leading accelerator in LATAM, among the TOP 10 globally, and one of the biggest and most diverse startup communities in the world.”

As soon as we received our first grant, I realized it was going to be impossible to release a healthcare and hardware product with limit funding. Then, I discovered the possibility of applying to this accelerator which encourage entrepreneurs around the globe to launch their startup in the Chilean ecosystem. We packed our hopes and dreams in the backpack and travel to a new adventure.

the startupbootcamp china experience

“China is well-known for its hardware manufacturing capabilities. More than 90 percent of the world’s electronics move through China at some point during their production processes.”

We tried to build a complicated product in order to do something novel but the product was still buggy and with a lots of fixes to do. Then, an opportunity came up: an accelerator program in China, the mecca of hardware startups. For budgetary reasons, I traveled alone there. The Chinese ecosystem got our product scope bigger and ambitious, which turned out to be a problem later on.

the seed mg experience

“Brazil is the world’s seventh-largest health market with more than $42 billion spent annually on private healthcare. Yet, with more than $18 billion wasted due to inefficiencies, and health-related costs, Brazilian healthcare is ripe for disruption.”

Meanwhile, in Brazil, we won another grant from SEED MG, an acceleration program that aims to foster the technological innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. To obtain healthcare expertise and seize the opportunity of the Brazilian market, Omar and Marco traveled to Minas Gerais. Unfortunately, the bureaucratic procedure of selling medical devices in Brazil and the recent interest of selling in China were determinant to block our initial idea.

the bayer grants4apps experience

“Bayer G4A works with extraordinary people to develop new health solutions in the digital world. We are a global team of intra and entrepreneurs enabling positive disruption to Change the Experience of Health.”

Moving on, in China, we were selected by Bayer Pharmaceuticals as one of the top 4 startups in the region. We continued to think that a complicated-to-build product with a huge scope was ideal for our market even though our customers probably were saying the contrary. As soon as the program finished, we pitched to several angels and VCs in order to raise funds. They turned us down. With constant failed demos to potential customers, we weren’t heading anywhere.

back to basics

“Resilience is the ability to mentally or emotionally cope with a crisis or to return to pre-crisis status quickly.”

After going back to Peru, we decided to stop the continuous tries of shooting high and realized the importance of keeping the product simple and hearing what our customers want. We were hypnotized by the narrative of improving product value until it was novel and the many opinions of increasing the market size to a more lucrative that we lost focus in what matters. Overwhelmed enough, we started again and built a product people want. Finally, after one full month of work, we got it ready and functional. Happy early adopters used it and congratulated us.

the singularity university experience

“Singularity University (SU) is a global learning and innovation community using exponential technologies to tackle the world’s biggest challenges and build a better future for all.”

Followed by the initial success of our product, I as representative of the team was awarded with the opportunity to attend the SU Incubation program. It was an intense and interesting immersion to the Silicon Valley’s ecosystem. Inspired by the lessons from experienced entrepreneurs, I acknowledged the importance of improving the product to become scaleable and salable. That’s why it was a team effort to make it happen.

time to thrive

“Continuous effort– not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.”

For us, the success wasn’t immediate. It took a long process to achieve it, but in the end, it was worthy to change lives and receive testimonies of several happy customers who were satisfied for their purchase and their dry hands. Those comments would always be a reminder of how grateful people can be if you listen them and build a product they want.