Elliot Gatt, Founder at Good Glucos
1. What does Good Glucos do?
Good Glucos offers a subscription model for diabetic test strips at a disruptive price point, without sacrificing quality. I combined the business models of two companies that I love: Dollar Shave Club and Tom’s Shoes. Dollar Shave Club offers a subscription model for a premium product at a disruptive price point and Tom’s Shoes uses a buy-one-give-one model.
Good Glucos offers premium quality diabetic test strips through a monthly subscription of $45 per hundred test strips. Our products are delivered for free and your first kit includes a free glucometer. For every 12 subscribers, we give a free 12-month subscription away to someone in need. In the diabetic industry, we were the first to market with a giveback model.
2. What inspired you to start? What problem are you solving?
I was diagnosed with type one diabetes 17 years ago. At the time, both of my parents were artists and health insurance wasn’t available to me. I realized that the test strips I needed to manage my diabetes were extremely expensive - usually 75 to 90 dollars per 100 strips. Diabetics typically purchase 150 of those strips per month, plus the cost of insulin. Diabetics can’t live without these test strips, so I always resented the extremely high prices. Starting Good Glucos has allowed me to lower the price of test strips and make them more accessible to people who can’t afford them.
3. How long did it take you to go from idea to launch?
It took a bit longer than we would have liked because it was really difficult to procure the product (taking about eight to nine months from idea to launch). We had trouble finding suppliers who would allow us to sell their product for less than 75 dollars per hundred test strips. I can’t say enough how awful I think this is since someone with diabetes can lose their life if they don’t manage it.
4. How did you determine who your audience might be for this product?
One of our founders was able to access high quality market research while working as a professor at Brigham Young University (BYU). We also conducted surveys to determine interest, order frequency, and price sensitivity.
Before we put Good Glucos out into the market, we built a really strong Instagram account. We are becoming one of leading diabetic companies in the world on Instagram. Because I am a diabetic and I understand the problem, our content speaks to those frustrations and we have built a brand that believes in adventure and achievement. When you are diagnosed with diabetes, doctors will tell you have to quit sports and start living your life much differently. By highlighting people in the space, we try to show the world that you can live above the disease. Along the way, comments and messages have helped us validate what we are doing.
One thing we have struggled with is the impression that our price point is too good to be true. We are trying to combat that by getting out into the community through larger give back campaigns and storytelling.
5. If you could hire someone today to help you with one thing what would it be and why?
We have had great support with our marketing and branding, but we would benefit significantly from a full-time digital marketing manager who could help us build a strong sales funnel and understand our brand inside and out. If we have someone on the team who understands our web traffic and can leverage online data, we can start to build targeted landing pages, expand into new markets and ultimately gain more customers.
6. What are your greatest achievements so far?
I feel really accomplished that we have built a model that drives revenue and delivers on social good. We have run a few giveaway campaigns in Africa (in partnership with Marjorie’s Fund) and Peru (in partnership with Beyond Type 1), as well as in the United States. We have tried to run giveaways in Canada but it has been difficult to execute. I also just biked across America with Beyond Type 1 and 20 other type one diabetics, as a team raising $750K for BT1, and their education, advocacy and cure-based programs. A documentary of this ride was created with appearances from Victor Garber and Nick Jonas.
When we first started out, we wanted to help spread the word through Diabetic Living, a magazine with 6.5-million readers. We were discouraged when we found out that a one-page ad would cost $25,000 to $50,000, so we asked if they would be interested in sharing our story instead. After seeing some of our give-back campaigns, they reached out to us for a story. We were so excited that we rented an office for a month for the photoshoot and we ended up getting a six-page spread which accelerated our customer acquisition by five times.
Most recently, we were accepted to Beta Boom’s Salt Lake City 2018 summer cohort.
7. What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to take their idea from the back of a napkin to the marketplace?
Do it as fast as you can. I think there are a lot of ways that you can waste time. Knowing what I know now, I could start my company in one to two months. There are so many resources out there (drop shipping, Shopify, online payment systems, etc.). It is the best time to start a company because of how resource rich the landscape is.
8. What was the biggest surprise you encountered building your startup?
How hard it is to work with friends. It shouldn’t be a surprise because it’s a golden rule - but it’s surprising how much it can change relationships.
9. If you had to tweet another start-up advice, what would it be?
Unapologetically ask for everything you need and keep going.
Learn more at https://goodglucos.com/
Published on June 12, 2018