1. What is the most important experience you have had in the process of taking the idea to the market?
The most important lesson we learned in the process of developing and establishing our product Woulgan on the market is that often, things take more time than expected. When first coming up with an idea, you tend to be very eager and maybe even over-enthusiastic and expect the market to be as excited about the product as you are but that rarely ever is the case. Also, you cannot do everything on your own and need the right team to help in taking the product a step further. External help and expertise are vital for market success and this is where organisations like BioTech North can be of utmost importance.
2. Why is the Tromsø region an excellent location for marine biotech startups/companies?
Tromsø offers the right infrastructure needed for start-up companies in order to succeed. There are several companies with extensive knowledge in biotechnology and excellent laboratory facilities in town and at Siva Innovasjonssenter specifically. The academic environment at UiT – Norges arktiske universitet and at the College of Fisheries is close by and serves as a vital place for the sharing of knowledge and experience.
3. Why is it important to be a member in BioTech North?
BioTech North is a great place to get to know other companies in biotechnology that work on and around the same issues. It is a place for the sharing of knowledge but also a place where relations can be developed and a Northern Norwegian biotechnology environment can be created that has an influence in the region and in politics. Together we form one strong voice and have the opportunity to form a unit.
4. What are your ambitions for the future?
At the moment we are actively working on securing a good market position for Woulgan, specifically in the UK and Germany. We have just signed a distribution agreement with Rogg in Germany and are awaiting the first sales, and are also waiting for our Drug Tariff Application in the UK to be approved this summer. Our long-term goals include the positioning of Woulgan in international markets such as in the US and expect revenues of $50m. by the end of 2018 in a market that potentially offers $100m. for our product. This will hopefully be achieved by extending our product range to also include a spray and combination dressing.