400 million people are suffering from diabetes worldwide and it is estimated that this number is going to increase rapidly within the next years. We spoke to its founder Fredrik Debong…
What problem is mySugr solving?
Our mission is to change the philosophy of our therapy, to make it suck less. We make life with the disease less of a negative burden, making the right choice, and sticking with therapy easier.
There are more people being diagnosed with diabetes all the time, which to be honest sucks. We hope that this changes, but I do not see that happening.
Many of us can do nothing about our diagnosis, so we simply have to get on with life, with our new chronic companion. It’s all about keeping at it, and this is our focus.
You guys just closed a 4.8 million (USD) funding round, amazing! What’s going to happen next?
Thank you so much! Simple: scale.
We have made diabetes suck less for 230,000 people.
We currently have made diabetes suck less for 230,000 people. Which is nice. We intend to add a zero to that in the next few years. And considering that there are almost 400 million people suffering from diabetes… we still have a long ride ahead of us.
Besides going international you are also broadening your product range. What can we expect?
Smartness, style and adaptability. Help with more complex parts of the therapy, as well as with the education!
The future of health tech, is integrated, to some extent open and smart. We believe that software needs to melt into the background but keep the data useful in day to day life with a chronic disease. Let us see if we can take this game into that field.
About 4 years ago you were the first winners of the Startup Challenge at Pioneers Festival. How did that help you in the early days?
Oh that was a magical experience, and brought us all over the world! It helped us get the message out and landed us in so many interesting discussions with potential investors, partners, and friends! A boost like winning at Pioneers is like TNT in your startup – and without it things would most likely have moved slower than they did.
From what you’ve learned along the way, what would be the single most important advice you’d give early stage startups?
To startups, or to founders?
Founders – life is amazing, and business to an entrepreneur is more than just a job. See to it that you invest yourself in something amazing, worthwhile and not just do it for the money. Stay humble, focused on the problem and open for change – you’ll need it.
Startups – customers first, team second, supporters third, money fourth. Simple, right? Your life as a company is only as valuable as the people who drive it – money and profit is that which is left over when creating value for your people.
Team – do not look at CV’s. They suck. Hire people who believe in the vision and have the right personality fit. Hopefully they have the basics of what you need, the rest can be learnt.
Leadership – you can lead on several levels. Personality, vision, money, structure. Vision breeds culture, money breeds poison, personality breeds hubris and structure stifles innovation.
I guess we’ll see you guys at Pioneers Festival 2015 in May? Why is it a must go for you?
Imagine a place on earth, where the smartest and most engaged people come together – the people who wish to change things, and not just the normal startup junkies.
Imagine a place where the smartest and most engaged people come together. Pioneers goes beyond the startup event concept of bringing in just anyone, it is not focused on the next social app with cute cuddly toys, but on those that focus on higher stakes – in making those famous dents.
Every startup has a story. The participants in each chapter are those that create the personality of the story – their interactions and relationships create the magic. Years down the line, what will yours contain? Which emotions will it bring to life? At Pioneers your story enters one of those epic chapters, one of those where suddenly the Cheshire Cat, Peter Pan and Gandalf enter the story – you are surrounded by epic beings and ideas, all the time. That is why we go.