Prepare your platform technology by developing multiple plans
A well-established business model is important for any startup, but it becomes even more vital for startups developing platform technology. IRISense CEO Brent Cousino said his company had multiple value propositions for his innovation that have provided different expansion paths of success.
IRISense is a unique noninvasive glucose monitoring technology that uses ocular imaging involving analysis of the human iris. For diabetes patients, this image-capture technology can analyze the patient and eliminate the need for finger pricking and test strips.
"We have multiple value propositions that can unfold soon," said Cousino. "The fastest way to market for us would be to have a desktop application so doctors and other medical professionals that interact with diabetes patients can use them in a more controlled environment."
Cousino said the controlled environment would make the FDA process easier, but other methods of bringing his product to market could be more valuable to patients.
"Another step would be to have a mobile version of the technology," Cousino said. "This would be more expensive but better to demonstrate the usefulness of the technology as well as be easier to launch because we would have more control of the process."
Cousino hired a private developer to create beta versions of the product for smartphones to provide prototypes for testing to see what feasible options were realistic.
"Ideally for this technology, the best way to market for us is to have a smartphone app. So many people have smartphones now. Through testing, one of the biggest problems diabetes patients have is carrying the glucometer and the test strips and this takes away the supply aspect."
Other insights from Cousino:
Feedback from experience - "Don't think you have all the answers," said Cousino. "Don't be afraid to ask others for help. There are people out there that have tripped over some of the things you are trying to avoid or don't even realize you need to avoid."
Reach out to experts - "We strongly believe in the Business Model Canvas that Steve Blank is teaching, said Cousino. "We talked to optometrists, ophthalmologists and certified diabetes educators and that has been very valuable for the customer discovery process."
[Photo by - FutUndBeidi]