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The Foley & Lardner team recently hosted a panel on Innovation for Good: Designing Products with Purpose, which was developed in collaboration with Parna Sarkar-Basu of B&B Consulting. The speakers were Matthew Anderson of A&K Robotics, Vishnu Jayaprakash of AgZen and Daniela Procopio of SOLMA Tea.

Though each of the founders represented different industries – robotics, agtech, beverage, and consulting services – two themes were obvious.

  1. They launched their respective companies based on challenges they experienced or witnessed personally.
  2. Each wanted to positively impact society and the environment in their own way.

The conversation was highly engaging and insightful. The room was full of entrepreneurs and practitioners who said they enjoyed the discussion and appreciated the actionable tips they received from the founders.

Here are some key takeaways:

A fancy term alone won’t make a product or company successful; it’s the tangible benefits each product or service delivers that matter most. Tech for good is a tool kit of solutions to solve significant problems in our society.

Designing products for good is definitely a good thing. However, for the product to be adopted, it must make financial sense to the end user – people who are in the value chain.

For investors, it’s important to show them the Total Addressable Market or TAM, so they feel comfortable knowing there are new opportunities for expansion.

You can’t go at it alone. Identify the right set of companies to partner with in order to expand and penetrate new markets.

The backstory behind their respective companies:

A busy mother of three, Daniela needed a hydration solution that she could use while on the go. So, she created SOLMA, the first ready-to-drink lactation tea supplement for postpartum, breastfeeding moms.

Seeing an elderly family member navigate transportation challenges led Matt and his cofounder, Jessica Yip, to launch A & K Robotics. Their goal is to reinvent mobility and help people with limited mobility navigate large spaces like airports.

Spraying pesticides on his 10-acre farm was a time and cost challenge for Vishnu. So, he launched AgZen to reduce pesticide pollution and help farmers cut their pesticide costs by up to 50%.

Seeing startup founders, especially women entrepreneurs, struggle to get the much-needed boost to get their company off the ground motivated Parna to launch her consulting firm. Her mission is to help tech companies pivot for sustainable growth and build market credibility for small businesses.

For more information on the topics covered during the event, please contact Paige Moscow or Alicia Dorner.

Author Alicia Dorner

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