Arezoo, Vijay and Ratika are postgraduate students at the University of Eastern Finland who were in August 2021 registering their company producing a probiotic bee supplement under the brand name WonderBee. They have rented a production facility and started a small-scale trial batch. They are currently investigating whether a similar product can be found, and the intention is then to apply for a patent if they receive funding for the application.
They have participated in the Draft program and received three rounds of funding from the program. After the draft, they also participated in the Accelerator program organized by the Business Center Pohjois-Savo, where they have continued to develop and commercialize their business idea.
Arezoo is a doctoral student in applied physics on the Kuopio campus. She hails from Iran, where she has been involved in raising her family’s bees since childhood. The idea of a supplement for bees therefore comes from there, as drought has reduced pollen intake. And it has caused problems for bees and their breeders. The idea of a supplement has been developed for five years.
Vijay Lakshmi Burman works as a research assistant at the Department of Economics. She comes from an Indian entrepreneurial family and is very entrepreneurial. She has wanted to work in business and / or wanted to start his own business, so the WonderBee project has been very pleasing to her.
Ratika Sehgal from India is pursuing postgraduate studies in the Public Health and Clinical Nutrition program. She is well able to utilize her nutritional knowledge in this project, which at the same time creates the conditions for a more sustainable environment.
Arezoo and Ratika participated in the Business for PhD students course, where they began to develop the WonderBee idea. There, they also pitched the idea and heard for the first time about the Draft program. At this point, Vijay joined the team as there was a need for a business expert in the team.
The story is written by Vesa Janhunen. It is a part of an article series regarding Business Center North Savo’s services.
Draft Program is now inviting applications for the next round of funding. The call is open until 27th of September. For more information, please visit: https://www.draftprogram.com/