Growing up in Nigeria, Hogan Bassey, CEO and co-founder of Livful, contracted Malaria multiple times and, as a young child, tried to create a mosquito repellant formula out of his bathtub. Fast forward and Bassey is now on a mission to save 200,000 lives per year by preventing mosquito and bacteria-borne diseases with his biotech startup and its groundbreaking bio repellent.
With Zika and many other related diseases constantly in the news, it’s hard not to think about the consequences of a mosquito’s bite (aside from the persisting itch). Livful makes repellent easier to use, less sticky, and without chemicals like DEET.
Bassey’s only goal for Livful? “Go to market, grow and save lives.” That strong focus can be seen in his strategy as he and his talented team work on the plant-based, micro-encapsulation technology. Learn more about their bio-repellent formula, how Bassey’s heritage served as inspiration, and his advice to early-stage founders.
Year/Date Founded: 2012
Hogan Bassey is Livful, Inc.’s, CEO and co-founder. Although Mr. Bassey brings his experience as a business analyst and management consultant to the Livful team, some would argue his most important contributions to Livful are his experience fighting malaria as a child in Nigeria and his passion for using science and technology to save lives and transform communities.
Andy Mahler is Livful’s Co-Founder. Mr. Mahler is Business Development Executive that has lead teams at Fortune 500 companies and startups. He specializes in product management and revenue growth. He has worked a broad array of industries including Telecommunications, Technology and Healthcare.
Tycho Speaker is the Chief Scientist and Co-founder at Livful. Dr Speaker’s has a background in pharmaceutical, cosmetics and semiconductor industries. He is a thought leader in micro-encapsulation and microneedle delivery systems. His work in microneedle, as a Senior Scientist with TransDerm, finds applications in gene-silencing and vaccines.
Traditional methods for repelling insects and preventing mosquito-borne diseases aren’t fully effective and are difficult to use. Mosquito netting, chemicals like DEET, household sprays, burning coils and vaccines don’t provide the full protection, easy application or pleasant experience that people need to guard against insect bites and diseases.
Livful created a plant-based, micro-encapsulation technology to deliver a repellent that insects hate and humans love to use. Families, governments and health organizations can stop wasting money and start saving lives. Funding or Bootstrapped:
Livful is bootstrapped with a generous round of funding from friends and family. Livful is currently looking for a $1 million investment to launch internationally and to complete the regulatory process.
How does your background influence your work?
As a child living in Nigeria, I contracted malaria several times. Mosquito nets and traditional treatments did little to protect Hogan from the pain and suffering of this mosquito-borne disease.
Tired of living in fear of the disease, as a 10-year-old, I gathered a few chemicals I found at home and mixed up a batch of mosquito repellent in the family bathtub. While this first effort had only limited success, I discovered a passion for problem solving and helping others with healthy, effective alternatives.
What lessons have you learned as a founder so far?
As the founder of a startup, I’ve learned you must have a purpose that you really believe in. You need to know your story, your narrative, and have a clear foundation for the source for your values and your goals to keep you grounded because through the process, who you are will evolve. Align all that with the right people and the right resources. Once you have that, take action.
Please describe the market/industry impact:
Livful’s impact on the global market will be twofold: For the world at large, our patented plant-based, micro-encapsulation technology allows us to create solutions that are significantly more effective and safer to use. Livful can be part of anyone’s daily healthy lifestyle. For people threatened with mosquito-borne illnesses in developing countries, our aim is to make solutions accessible to those who can least afford it.
What’s your revenue model?
Livful will employ a traditional retail model in addition to working with nonprofits and government agencies to deliver the product to the people that need it the most.
Who are your competitors and how do you stand out?
Our competitors use traditional repellents that contain DEET. Livful is different. We use a patented, leading-edge micro-encapsulation technology that can deliver a non-DEET repellent in an easy-to-use form that stays on the skin for long periods of time.
How does Atlanta weave into your story?
Atlanta has been great for a lot of reasons. When you have a business related to public health, there aren’t too many places that are better. From a practical standpoint, there’s a low startup cost, great resources — and it’s home. I’ve grown up here. Aside from my time in Nigeria, I’ve spent most of my life here. I went to Cross Keys High School and the University of Georgia. The City of Alpharetta has been extremely supportive through the Alpharetta Technology Commission Innovation Center. The Innovation Center has been a home to Livful and has helped open a lot of doors.