Power panels are the result of a collaboration between Haltech Regional Innovation Center, Innovation Guelph and WEtech Alliance who invite RIC-associated women-owned companies in Southwestern Ontario to ask for help addressing the pain points they are experiencing in their businesses.
The December Power Panelists advising the founders included Debbie Landers, Erin Elofson, Mary Ann Wenzler-Wiebe, Afza Wajid and Karen Grant.
Remy Warren founder of Moxy Patch, a reusable eco-friendly device for urinary incontinence in women, is planning to launch her product in spring 2021 and consulted the power panel for support to ensure it’s success. Remy said the panelists reassured her that her go-to-market strategy, especially considering COVID, was sound. “They also helped me to look at things in ways that I had not previously, and to properly address and uncover new market potential,” Remy said.
The founder said she is facing important decisions in the coming weeks such as finalizing manufacturer partnerships, implementing quality management systems, and executing brand and market strategy. “Advice from the panel helped me to clarify issues in these areas and subsequently, prioritize and regain focus.”
While there wasn’t a specific piece of advice that stood out for Remy, she derived significant value from the discussion around her business and strategic plans. Even preparing for the pitch brought more focus to her overall strategy, she said.
“Much of the advice given after the pitch helped to solidify many of these existing plans which was comforting, but also further motivated me to persevere through any other hurdles that might come our way.”
Remy appreciates the value of advice and she recommends other founders should expect hurdles and meet them with flexibility and resilience. She advises to strive for Plan A, but be prepared for plan B.
“I would also recommend that founders be open to help and advice from people they admire or people who have different expertise and experience than themselves. I have been lucky myself to have so many great mentors along my journey, most of which have been provided through the Regional Innovation Centres directly.”
Remy knows first-hand the importance of resilience and flexibility as she had originally planned to launch MoxyPatch last fall. However, taking the extra time, she has focused on e-commerce due to the pandemic. “I believe that the pandemic has actually resulted in many late adopters of online shopping to be more open about making purchases online which could potentially have a residual and lasting effect, even post COVID,” she said.
Other advice given to Remy included hiring third party marketing consultants, carefully creating a narrative around the product, considering Clear Bank funding, and thoroughly researching how customers are currently making purchases.