BIOsens aims to solve the problem of timely diagnostics to improve people’s health. By using the Internet of Things (IoT), biosensors can produce rapid diagnostics of food safety in real time.
Location: Ukraine, Kyiv
Product / Service Offering: Rapid Diagnostics of Food Safety
Co-founder Interviewed: Andrii Karpiuk, CEO, CFO
Other Key Management Team Members: Olexandr Hudz, CTO; Tetiana Yatsenko, Biochemist; Katerina Zvierieva, CMO & PR; Andriy Pluzhnyk, Business Development and Fundraising;
This article is part of our Business Startup Spotlight series featuring entrepreneurs and their companies. We hope that these founders’ interviews will inspire and motivate you as you undertake your own entrepreneurial journey.
Tell us a little about yourself with a focus on what motivates you.
While getting my Ph.D., I worked with one of the scientists who established the research of biosensorics in Ukraine 30 years ago. I have a dream to make those scientific result useful for everyone in the world.
BIOSens wants to give people confidence that the food they eat or produce is safe for them and their children. I believe it will change lives.
When did you establish your company and where did the idea originate?
BIOsens, Inc., was established in February, 2017, but it all started when I was working on my Ph.D. thesis. Today, the team is trying to close the gap between science and entrepreneurship.
What need or needs does your company seek to fill for its customers?
Low-quality foods that people eat always leads to negative effects in our health. BIOsens is aims to solve the problem of timely diagnostics, and, in effect, save people’s health. The platform uses the Internet of Things (IoT) using biosensors for rapid diagnostics of food safety, such as an analysis for detection of mycotoxin in real time (only 15 minutes).
For now, analyzing the quality of products can only be carried out in a laboratory. It takes a lot of time, requires the participation of highly qualified personnel, and cannot be done in the field. To solve this problem, we have started the scientific research for developing innovative test strips for diagnostics, developed a prototype, and took part in different target exhibitions.
What is the one thing that sets your company apart from its competitors?
BIOsens is more accurate, simple to use, and more agile than the competition.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while getting your company up and running, and how did you overcome it?
One of our biggest challenges was team building. We started the company with only an idea and no money. Therefore, it was very difficult to involve good specialists from different areas.
What resources have you utilized that other founders might find compelling or useful?
Our latest resource is the Kickstart accelerator program. They have a variety of interesting courses for our team members. I will be in the program consistently and each of our team members will be there two weeks during workshops oriented on improving their professional skills.
What steps have you taken to secure funding for your company and what, if anything, would you do differently if you had to start over?
To attract investment, BIOsens attended various specialized events. However, we did not always understand what exactly and how much was really needed. For the most part, this was due to lack of experience. Now we understand that we don’t need a pail of money. Rather, we need a partner who knows exactly what mycotoxins are and what problems they cause.
What questions have you had as an entrepreneur of a fledgling startup that you had a particularly hard time finding the answers to?
These 3 particular questions stand out:
- How to establish communication between teammates
- Visualization of strategic goals
- What are the corresponding tasks for achievement
Today, these solutions have been found. Our team continues to learn and grow every day.
What challenges are you grappling with?
Like most startups, raising financing is a crucial challenge. BIOsens has also found it challenging to find trustworthy partners. Since we are a tech startup, stakes in a partnership are much bigger. Investments are difficult to secure even when investors are interested. Choosing the right investors and getting the right valuation are extra challenges.
What is the most helpful tip or “hack” you’ve ever learned, stumbled across, or been given?
For the team, the best tip/hacks are visual recall, brand recognition, and reputation. Those are the most useful, important, and cost effective actions you can take at the beginning stages.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your company?
BIOsens aims to benefit society and change the world.
We believe that our ideas will help create accurate, fast, cheap, and personalized diagnostics / prognostics. All while improving the engineering of sustainable food production and the state of soil and water.
Biotechnology can also help solve huge international issues such as healthcare. Currently, global healthcare spending is about 8 trillion US dollars. Imagine a future where you have a mini-lab in your pocket, and you can quickly identify food safety! It will be a device that you and your family can use to determine the quality of the products you buy, check the quality and availability of crops, and more.
Biotechnology will become as common as having a cell phone or browsing online. By 2030, BioSensors will become a part of your life. Our startup brings this future closer!
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