Founders Bootcamp Alumni Spotlight: Lacti-Cups (W18-FBGB)

Lacti-Cups is a company designed to help mothers with their breastfeeding goals. Founder Diana Osorio had worked as a Clinical Lactation Consultant for over 17 years in the Postpartum and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). She has provided care and support to over 40,000 babies and their families. During that time, she had a realization when she noticed how much breast milk was being wasted with traditional breast pads in between feedings. She created Lacti-Cups as a one-of-a-kind breastfeeding product that will collect all of the leaks between breastfeeding sessions. The product has received numerous awards and recognition for its top-of-the line quality.

In Diana’s experience, mothers struggle to collect breast milk and their perception is that they do not have enough to pump. Breast shells have existed for over 37 years, but they were their not designed to collect the remaining leaks. Many moms feel like they do not have enough milk and quit breastfeeding even earlier than they are supposed to do. Four million women have babies every year, and 30% of those women quit breastfeeding after 6 weeks. Diana’s mission is to reduce this number to 5% with her state-of-the-art product. Mothers will be able to overcome the early challenges of breastfeeding and be empowered to  provide for their babies.

Diana has always been a risk taker and it was in her personality to go for it and start Lacti-Cups. She knew it was useful and necessary, and it has never crossed her mind that the business would not work. Before Diana entered the market, there was nothing similar to what she was doing. Unfortunately, the first product that she came out with was copied by many businesses, especially across Amazon.com where copycats began selling similar, generic products. However, she understood that people only copy what is great. The first design of the product was a little too generic and it was easy to copy, but this gave her the options to improve the product to be more differentiated. In the future, Diana wants to diversify by bringing education and insight about the product and the differences it can make. Part of the competitive advantage that Diana brings to Lacti-Cups is that she has been a health care expert with the knowledge necessary to create the best breastfeeding products. Adaptation has also been important, since Diana was able to take the reviews she was getting on Amazon to alter her product.

Diana’s success did not come without any roadblocks. The first challenge was all these other sellers copying her product. This caused her to become more creative in her approach in sales. She took her products to other alternatives besides Amazon to diversify and spread her eggs across many baskets instead of just one.

She also used her problem-solving skills to overcome manufacturing and expense issues related to new tariffs imposed by the current presidential administration.  Diana thought outside of the box to think more creatively.

This is part of the reason why Diana joined the Founders Growth Bootcamp. Previously, she had no knowledge at all about business. With the Bootcamp, she was able to take the information and implement it in her business immediately, especially the small business model improvement canvas. In the next three to five years, Lacti-Cups looks to expand internationally, but she must wait until her patent applications are approved.

Her goal is to produce more products while reducing the costs of each individual product. Since the end of the Bootcamp, Diana has been able to increase her price point, which has led to an increase in revenues. She was able to receive a loan once her finances were cleaned up at the Bootcamp. This loan will help with her product expansion, which will be a big help the future goals of Lacti-Cups.

Diana’s key advice for other small business owners is to think ahead about who will be buying your product or service. Even though there are a ton of great ideas for businesses, it is essential to create the business plan and show how it will work. Bootstrapping is the smartest way to get started, because you do not have to be concerned about paying back business loans and accumulating debt.

To learn more about Lacti-Cups and there future endeavors, check out their website here.

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