The European Startup Show

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Summary

My guest today is Dr. Olivia Ahn, co-founder and CEO of Planera which makes the only certified flushable and 100% bio-degradable sanitary pad. Not quite in a garage, Olivia founded Planera in her flat as she was finishing her degree at Imperial College, together with her roommate, Aaron Koshy. I was impressed not just with the product they are developing but also with her larger vision of sustainability and her desire to change perceptions, culture, and policy when it comes to feminine hygiene products. Definitely an inspiring talk.

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Show Notes

The business
  • [01:00] What made you become an entrepreneur and how did you come up with this idea? 
  • [03:54] How is your product different from what other organic products are doing in the market?
  • [05:00] Why aren’t any of the big FMCG brands doing anything like this?

The process
  • [07:55] What was your process from concept to production?
  • [10:27] Did you do market validation whilst testing the product?
  • [13:23] Why did you choose to sell directly to customers?

The Insights
  • [22:23] What has been the hardest part of the journey?
  • [23:17] What were some of the biggest mistakes that you think you could have avoided?
  • [24:26] What was your larger vision when you thought about creating this company?
  • [29:06] - How did you go about building and engaging your early adopter community?
  • [30:14] What stage is your company in right now?
  • [31:46] How do you keep on top of what you need to do and ensure you don’t burn out?

Company: Planera

Books:
Traction

What is The European Startup Show?

To inspire technology entrepreneurs in Europe with stories and practical strategies from other successful entrepreneurs.

If you are a CEO, founder, or work in sales or marketing, and your company is based in Europe or is looking to expand into Europe, then this podcast is for you.