Episode 27: How to Build a Product from Idea to Sale, EllieGrid Co-Founder Regina Vatterott Smart Pillbox

Regina’s Background

Regina took a personality test in high school and found herself wanting to try all of them, in what was perhaps a first glimpse into an entrepreneurial journey. That same school placed heavy influence on making your career align with your higher calling. This really hit home for Regina and she felt like that was what she was best at. “Do well by doing good” as Regina says.

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Podcast

Founding the Super Smart Pillbox EllieGrid

It all started when Regina witnessed her family members struggle to keep track of medicine during cancer treatments. Regina’s co-founder Abe, came to her with this idea for a smart pill box that made pill tracking easy. Given Regina’s first hand experience with the hassle associated with counting pills, she was immediately enthused.

Abe and Regina were at different universities, but found time to begin the first iteration of the would be product. The first steps included going to Hobby Lobby and Radio Shack to buy some “jankity LED lights”, plastic, and glue–just so they could build a prototype to show their professors.

 

“Something tangible is the important part”, Regina says. It doesnt need to be perfect, it doesnt need to be working, just get the product out and start getting feedback. Not only that, but it shows the initiative. With this tangible product, their professors provided valuable feedback.

 

“We went to Professors in the engineering school and asked for their top 3 students, and we stalked them” Regina

Once the team was built, they went back to their universities and worked with 3D printers from school . to work on the next prototype. Next, they entered competitions with different incentives like “access to free office space” and “access to manufacturing”, hacking their way to legitimacy in true startup, bootstrapped fashion. 

The Importance of Feedback

 

To test out the product, the team ventured into restaurants, parks, and other spaces booming with people. Instead of just a survey or talking to people they knew, Regina figured it would be more beneficial to speak with real people and get critical feedback as they tried out the product.

IndieGoGo

For one thing, they didn’t want to be like all of the other pill boxes which go directly to medical providers, instead Regina wanted to be “super customer centric”.

“30% in 2 days is the goal for crowdfunding, if you hit that you’re on the right track to success.

Hustle Round

 
Piece of advice on Regina’s mind: “Time is money”, and “hate has no home here”x

Resources and Companies Mentioned

Elegantt– gantt charts for Trello, it helps with project management
Honey
Grammarly
Hunter.io
We talk about future guest, Sean Newman Maroni. Checkout his company BetaBox Labs, a mobile tech lab for hire!
Trello (use the powerups, Regina says “its worth it”)
Pilot– translating earpiece
Safe Notes– from YCombinator
Circular Board-international womens counsel
Regina on her website, which links to all of her social media accounts including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Quotes

“If you’re not embarrassed by the first product, then you waited too long” -Carson
“hate has no home here”
“time is money”
“fiction is the perfect way to go to sleep because it puts you in this dream state” -Carson
On management: “the degree of communication is important”
“do well by doing good”
“something tangible is important”

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