Zachary Burkes, is the Co-Founder/Director of Government Relations over at Gatekeeper Innovation.
Gatekeeper Innovation provides medication safekeeping for good health. Their first product, Safer Lock, is a four-digit combination locking cap for prescription bottles aiming to prevent accidental poisonings and abuse. The idea to start a company came about due to a near tragedy within his best friend’s family and struggle with prescription drug abuse.
BusinessInterviews.com: Why are you so passionate about preventing unauthorized access to prescription medications?
Zachary: Prescription drug abuse is a very complex issue that impacts millions of lives annually. For us, we are passionate about addressing the ease of access within the household. As mentioned above, this product came about due to a near tragedy within our own family and our mission is to prevent other families from experiencing that same pain and devastation.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you share a bit about the process behind the years of engineering and prototypes, to arrive at the easy-to-use medicine bottle cap you have today?
Zachary: It was a long, reiterative process. One that took a couple years for us to really get an understanding for what to look for, how to design, etc.. Now, when we approach these types of design projects, I think we know where to start, how to work backwards from our goal and understand where we are going. It was a great learning experience for us right out of college.
BusinessInterviews.com: What advice would you pass on when it comes to securing Seed Round Funding?
Zachary: While I’ve only raised funding for this particular company, I think one thing is clear to me – every round and company is different. We sought out funding from local investors and those who had experience in scaling consumer product-type companies.
For those who are struggling to source that needed investment, seek local Angel groups and/or similar companies who have had success in raising funds. How did they do it? How were they successful in closing their round? And most importantly, why do we need funding? What will we do with it?
Be prepared. This will be vital to your young company’s growth.
BusinessInterviews.com: What’s a marketing strategy that’s worked well so far?
Zachary: While I won’t get into too much depth on our marketing strategy, I can say that our company and product has been successful in conveying our story, our mission and why we do what we do through press opportunities.
If you have a compelling story and/or product to offer the market, to make a real, tangible difference in the world, find the best outlet to do so via press opportunities.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you share the biggest lesson you’ve learned since first launching the company?
Zachary: We started the company when we were 22 and 23-years old; we’ve been forced to learn a lot on the fly and do some growing up. So, that whole maturation process has been incredible, but one lesion that serves as an inspiration to anyone who is considering going out on your own would be – the work will be hard, but it will be worth it.
Work hard, provide value and do good in the world and the rest will come back to you.
BusinessInterviews.com: What does your next stage of development look like?
Zachary: We have continued to push our existing products into the market working with retailers, pharma companies and various other healthcare stakeholders. We have also transitioned into other markets such as the medicinal marijuana market and have begun designing medication adherence products as well.
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