Turning a Real Life Problem into a New Product Innovation – Rosanne Longmore, CEO, Coroflo
In celebration of Women Entrepreneurship Week, we were delighted to welcome Rosanne Longmore, CEO of Coroflo, to speak to our New Enterprise Development students in DCU Business School about her start-up journey with Coroflo.
We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to sit down with Rosanne to hear about their innovative new product, Coro, and the journey so far for the start-up company.
Coroflo is a Dublin-based company developing a revolutionary product to support breastfeeding with 21st century technology.
Co-Founders, Dr Helen Barry and James Travers had the idea for their product, Coro, when their first son was born at just 2kg. The anxiety of not knowing how much milk he was taking during feeding led them to develop a revolutionary shield and app. Put simply, Coro is a standard commonly used nipple shield with an embedded patented micro flow sensor. The sensor measures exactly how much milk flows through it, in real time, with the mother able to view on the Coro app exactly how much volume per feed. The app also allows users to compare feeds over time, track changes etc.
According to Rosanne “Europe has the lowest exclusive breastfeeding rates of any continent. All of the studies in this area cite concern regarding low supply as the main reason women stop breastfeeding sooner than they had planned. Mothers can become concerned their baby is not getting enough milk and they start to supplement with formula. There is currently no product that can tell a mother how much milk her baby is getting.”
The focus for the team is to establish whether accurate data and real-time information helps mothers continue breastfeeding. “The first point of contact for all women who have concern in breastfeeding should be lactation support, via midwife, Ciudiu, IBCLC, public health nurse. They will be able to professionally assess any problems and guide ways to optimise supply and help with any reversible issues. We see Coro as an additional information tool for women and not in any way a replacement for lactation support. Our aim is to provide women with knowledge and information allowing them to make the best decision for them in feeding their baby”.
In addition, Coro will also open up exciting new lines of research. The company was recently awarded a €2.1m grant from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme; Coro will now be used in medical and academic research studies conducted by a leading Dublin university and maternity hospital to examine the external factors that impact milk supply. The data recorded will have significant potential value to breastfeeding researchers worldwide as it will represent the only repository for breast milk volume globally.
For budding entrepreneurs, Rosanne suggests they consider asking themselves, is the problem your product/service is solving a critically felt one? Will customers pay for your product or service?
The experience of the team is a predominant factor in the success of a start-up enterprise according to Rosanne. Within Coroflo the skill set of the founding members covers medicine, engineering, and finance. CTO, James Travers is an electronics engineer with 20+ years’ experience; CRO, Dr Helen Barry is a medical doctor and Rosanne had a successful career in finance prior to Coroflo being formed. This variety in their backgrounds provides a more rounded range of skills and gives investors confidence. “When you’re a start-up, it’s a challenge – a small team has to be able to cover every aspect, every function, to get the business up and running.”
The Coro will launch into McCabes & McCauleys pharmacies in Ireland in 2020 and we wish Rosanne and her team every success with it.
Thanks to Dr Eric Clinton and the DCU National Centre for Family Business for arranging Rosanne’s visit.
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