An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Dr. Andrew Brandeis (founder and CEO) of OK Capsule, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of OK Capsule – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
I have been in the health and medicine space for over 20 years. In 2017, I was consulting in the supplement space and while I noticed a growing trend of personalization, most diagnostic companies did not have a way to monetize their offering. I began reaching out to these businesses to assess their interest in selling their own brand of personalized supplements to augment their current business model.
As a doctor, I know firsthand that if you tell someone to take 3-4 different things, they will not do it. But if you tell them to take one packet, they will do it. Compliance to adhere will be higher, and given that high quality supplements are easier for most people to adopt, I realized an opportunity to serve different companies that were selling personalizing packets.
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
The biggest hurdle was figuring out how to set up manufacturing and packaging. Operation is a completely new and different animal than simply practicing medicine. Then, the hurdle was further exacerbated with COVID as the supply chain was difficult to navigate given shortages in product and personnel. At OK Capsule, we are also doing something completely new, and there is no model for this, so another hurdle is how to best explain this to customers in a digestible and convincing manner.
What does the future hold for OK Capsule?
Our goal is to disrupt the entire supplement industry, in a positive way. Millions of plastic bottles are being thrown out, and we want to be the infrastructure for the whole industry to convert to personalized medicine so that people get exactly what they should be getting, and as supplement manufacturers, we are not producing so much trash. We also have the capability and want to be known as the only company able to service the smallest boutique customers looking for small minimums and quick turn times to the larger more known customers such as Walmart.
What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Mill Valley?
I know it’s very expensive to hire talent and also live in Mill Valley. While it’s a booming market, the Mill Valley scene isn’t conducive to our business model, which is why we moved our manufacturing and HQ to Reno, NV. As a startup, we need to be as efficient as possible with how we invest our capital.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
My best advice is to make sure there is a customer who wants to buy the product you’re creating. It’s critical to do your homework and research and ensure there is an audience for the product and solution you are creating. Startups are tough as it is, but if you don’t have a specific customer in mind, the entrepreneurial path will be increasingly challenging.