Startup founders claiming their company is going to “change the world” has become a cliche. But rarely do we see a product that could clearly and significantly make someone’s life better. D-Free is one of those products.
Atsushi Nakanishi and his team have developed a wearable device that monitors your bowels and bladder, pairs with your phone and notifies you a few minutes before you need to go to the bathroom. At first this seems almost like a joke, a company solving a problem that does not exist, proof that anyone can raise funding these days. But its not.
There are millions of people all over the world who because of disability or disease, cannot regulate their bowels, and a device like D-Free would, quite literally, be life-changing for them.
Atsushi and I talk about his rather unique inspiration for the company and the team’s hight;y unusual path in testing and development.
It’s a fascinating product and a great story, and I think you’ll enjoy it.
Show Notes for Startups
- Who needs to be told when to go to the bathroom?
- What is the potential market size?
- The (embarrassing) origins of D Free
- Why many Japanese startups are formed by High School friends
- The challenge of turning hype into reality and testing in the real world
- The challenge of selling to hospitals and nursing homes as a startup
- Why government partnership programs are important in Japan
- The advantage Japanese hardware startups have over their Silicon Valley counterparts