Unforgettable Pivots – Part 1

Unforgettable Pivots – Part 1

Each month we will share stories from UNY I-Corps short course instructors about the most unforgettable pivot they’ve seen.

In the first feature, career entrepreneur and short course instructor, Brad Treat, shares a story from a short course at Binghamton University.

“I have an unforgettable story about a company from Syracuse that attended a short course at Binghamton. The team was developing an automated pill dispensing device for people who are legally taking addictive pain medicines (ie. opioids) at home. This device would be designed so that a caregiver would load the pills into the device, and then the pills would only be released on a set time schedule, thus preventing overuse and potential abuse. The device would be tamper resistant and could only be opened by the caregiver.

The interesting pivot was as to who the customer was. The customer wasn’t the caregiver or doctor – it was the patient. It turns out that the people themselves – those taking the pain meds – were interested in having this pill dispensing device so that they could only get the medicine when the doctor-prescribed schedule allowed.

The other interesting thing about this team was the number of people they interviewed who self-described themselves as someone who overuses prescription pain medicines. They would ask people “Has someone you know been effected by an addiction to prescription medicines”, and what they heard a surprisingly large number of times was “yes, me.”