MEET THE STARTUP: NOVIPEL

MEET THE STARTUP: NOVIPEL

 

 

How it all started – sex toys or medical devices?

2013 was the year I joined a group from DTU (The Technical University of Denmark) and KADK (The Royal Danish Academy of Design) and the year we hatched the initial idea, of changing the way we think about the unthinkable. As green as can be, we were open towards everything and everybody. The initial ideas ranged from a couple of sex toys, which could process live bio input of lovers and output a data driven “interaction” to more hardcore medical devices. We ended up somewhere in the middle with a research driven runway strategy to provide patients and practitioners, with a method of understanding how training pelvic floor muscles fights incontinence.

The first real step towards a start-up dream, which we later named NoviPel

We presented our first prototype and business plan at the DTU App Garage Pitch Competition late 2013. We came in second, just behind another Danish startup, who had just raised a round of crowdfunding. As we were in R&D mode, we had not raised any money yet, but were really happy to be told that first and second position were neck-to-neck.

Our team started to grow

2014 – the company grew with new members and new skills. We welcomed much needed electrical assistance and experienced leadership onboard. Pelvy was our first name (but we changed it to NoviPel after we were accepted into the first batch of Danish Tech Challenge.)

Failing fast

With 4 out of 6 people on the team still in school, a typical day was all work and very little free time. As the youngest team at DTC, we felt like we had to prove that whatever we lacked in experience, we would make up for in sheer determination. We had heard you had to fail fast to be successful, so we did all the errors possible. Nonetheless we were surprised and truly proud, when the finalists were announced.

Impressing the Crown Prince of Denmark…

We had fought alongside 22 companies, with highly experienced people and now had a spot on the stage with 5 other finalists. Now we just needed to put together our pitch deck, to impress the crown prince of Denmark and the jury. Filled with joy we got together for the final rehearsal, only to find out that someone had beat us to the finish line. With despair, we watched as a product, based on the exact same technology and marketing had hit the world hours before our rehearsal in front of the DTC companies. This was devastating; we couldn´t believe our eyes as all the big tech and women magazines around the world had featured articles. From ecstasy to horror in a matter of 60 seconds.

It’s not about how far or fast you fall….

But as everybody knows; it’s not about how far down you go, it’s about how fast you pop up again. We went back to doing what we do best; R&D. Admittedly with a bit of depression and compulsive drinking. Dazed and confused we came up with our best sensor to date. Being cornered we had fought back and delivered a truly unique and novel device. We demoed our idea in front of the DTC administration and got back in the fight for the final prize of 500.000 DKK and stardom.

Blood sweat and tears….

As one disaster rarely hits alone, it should not have come as a big surprise, as three team members were informed about their family members‘ sudden encounter with a case of bacterial meningitis induced coma, late stage Parkinson’s and a stroke, weeks before the finals. It must be a sign, to keep fighting. It takes blood, sweat and tears to grow anything, worth growing. Especially if your product aims to make the world a place of less suffering. We did not win. We did not lose. The finals were amazing and the winner deserved the fame. We had gotten through and were stronger than ever. DTC gave us an experience for a lifetime, and helped noviPel become what it is today.

Renewed Energy at COBIS

2015 was the year of renewed energy and the year where we moved from R&D to actual business development. People had noticed us and we were offered offices at a VC company looking for a future partnership. Stoked, we accepted and started working from our first real office. Still lacking funding, all our spare money went to the company, with growing costs as we had to bring in legal help with our patent application and general company structure. We decided that we were not mature enough for venture capital and started a focus on soft money instead. We moved offices to COBIS and joined the ranks of other great medtech startups.

And now…

2016 brought along a shift in focus as we needed to fund our ideas and patents do not come cheap. This meant that we had to look for some serious funding, as our spare change could not fund this project forever. We were granted a double grant by Innovationsfonden; an “Iværksætterpilot” for a team member and a full “Innobooster”. During 2017 we matched the public funding with private funding and are now ready to hit the market.

Market launch

We are happy to announce that 2017 will be the year for our market launch, after 3 years of hard work, filled with ups and downs. Thanks to all that helped, fought and co-created. In a time where all are trying to go out into the world to find themselves, noviPel looks inside for the answer. Wanna join in, got questions or wanna hear more of this story?  Reach out, we are always open for a coffee date.

 

 

MEET THE STARTUP: PURCITY

MEET THE STARTUP: PURCITY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morteza is the CEO and founder of PurCity, and the one behind the idea. He was born and raised in Tehran, Iran, which has one of the highest air pollution rates in the world. During his childhood, he lost one of his best friends, due to the lung cancer exposed by air pollution, which significantly affected him. Thus, he has always had the ambition to find solutions for this problem, and had several different ideas that led him to start up Purcity. Air pollution is a serious worldwide issue, that takes about 8 million lives every year, which is more than the effects of a war.

PurCity offers an innovative multi-functional construction panel (GapS) that smartly designed to provide several valuable benefits for its customers such as:

  • Purifying the air using highly efficient Photo-catalytic technology through natural ventilation
  • Adding extra thermal and acoustic insulation
  • Rain harvesting technology

GapS is a maintenance free product, and will be cleaned through rain. It is a 100% recyclable and environmental friendly product with a competitive price compare to normal composite panels.

GapS’ main applications are including of; Highway Noise Barrier, Building Facades, and others. 

 

Facing new challenges

In the beginning, Morteza’s biggest challenge was to figure out the right approach for the main idea. The first approach was – and is – brilliant and highly efficient. However, it was extremely hard and expensive to implement. After six months of studying, the team came up with the GapS’ idea, and then they faced the greatest challenge: to design an efficient multifunctional product, that can work the best, offer several great features, and still be as reliable, as it is now.

Founding a successful startup has a lot of challenges ahead, such as finding the right people, protecting your idea from thefts, taking your project to the next level, convincing people to trust you and your business, and so much more. It is a long roller coaster that your expertise, team and experience will make it easier to happen.

 

Nothing is impossible!

Every connection can be an opportunity; it depends on how you are looking at it, and how can you turn it into one.

NEVER SIT AND WAIT FOR THE LIGHT TO COME, GO FOR IT, AND IF THERE IS NO LIGHT, JUST MAKE IT YOURSELF!

Nothing is impossible; but it does not come easy!

 

Read more about PurCity on Facebook, connect on LinkedIn, or follow the startup on Twitter, to learn more about the inspiring business!