Tell us what your business does?
PacSana enables end-users with technology to live longer, happier lives in their own homes. PacSana uses a combination of sensors and expert systems to monitor critical user data and predict possible health events. We share this data with the user, their family, and care team through our easy-to-use smartphone app or tablet.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
The inspiration behind PacSana came after getting to know the older people I swim with at the Forty Foot in Sandycove. I could see the positive impact daily exercise and being autonomous had on their lives. It was clear that the best outcome for them was to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. It got me thinking about what was preventing the active elderly from doing so and what technology solutions could be developed to help. I believe passionately that technology should be used to enhance vulnerable people’s lives.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Yes, it was always something in the back of my mind.
What planning did you do before you started up?
We carried out extensive market research on the products that were already available on the market. I spent a lot of time with focus groups before beginning to design the idea and what we learned from the market before beginning our agile product development process.
Which entrepreneurs do you admire?
Gustaf Dalén who invented the AGA cooker. The AGA cooker wasn’t conceived in a research facility. It was dreamed up in a kitchen. Its inventor, Dr Gustaf Dalén, was a Swedish physicist blinded in a terrible accident.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
Winning a customer’s trust is one of the most important challenges that businesses in general – and startups in particular – face today. We managed to overcome this by running successful pilots with potential customers in the home care industry. We have also worked hard to implement a customer-centric working philosophy, one which puts the end user at the heart of our solution. In more recent times, Covid-19 posed a new dimension of challenges. Our team had to adapt to the world of remote working. We use instant messaging and have virtual team meetings to check in on everyone. It has also been difficult to meet with potential customers, zoom is a great tool however, we are looking forward to face to face meetings in the near future.
How have you promoted your business?
In the beginning, we would attend talks and trade shows. They are a great way to meet people involved in the industry and to get feedback on your product. More recently we have started using social media. We primarily use LinkedIn, we try to post at least twice a week.
Where do you see the business in 3 years’ time?
PacSana is passionate about allowing older people to stay in their homes for longer. Working with health and social care partners, we aim to be the leading service provider to care providers in the US, UK, and Ireland. To achieve that, we are laser focussed on comfort, usability, and privacy for our service users. Their enthusiastic use of our solutions is essential if we are to provide consistent peace of mind for the thousands of families we aim to serve.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Find something you are passionate about and go for it. Don’t look at your mistakes as failures, look at them as learning opportunities. It’s important to build complementary teams and do the spadework on understanding the market and the problem you are solving.