Describe the company – the elevator pitch…
Bioepic is the world’s first company to combine a natural food supplement with an app. This means that, for the first time, people can use technology to see exactly what affect a food or drink supplement is having on their health.
Our first product is EPIC Sport, a natural supplement aimed at athletes and fitness enthusiasts to help them improve their performance, endurance, alertness and recovery. The key bioactive ingredient is epicatechin, which is the naturally occurring substance found in most fruit and vegetables that helps your cardiovascular system by improving the flexibility of blood vessels. This means that when athletes take EPIC Sport, it decreases vascular resistance and increases the flow of oxygenated blood to the muscles and brain by up to 68% when they need it most, without putting additional strain on the cardiovascular system. The result is an enhanced sporting performance, using only approved, safe, natural ingredients.
— Epic® (@epicsportuk) February 17, 2016
The EPIC Sport app uses the mobile phone camera to record increased blood flow and oxygen levels in the skin, tracking variations in light reflectance with more accuracy than the green light technology used in most wearable devices. Over time, users are able to easily see the chronic improvements in their cardiovascular health, monitoring indicators like central vascular age, maximum heart rate, rate of oxygen uptake and mean arterial blood pressure.
EPIC Sport is our first product, aimed specifically at the fitness market. However, the benefits of epicatechin and the use of technology to measure the impact of what we eat on our health has much broader appeal, so we have more products due for launch later in 2016.
How are you different?
Lots of huge organisations have been researching the health benefits of epicatechin for many years. However, we are patented as the only food or drink supplement that measures its affects via an app, which gives us a really strong differentiator. The food, drink and health supplements industries are tied up with red tape about what health claims they can and cannot make, but with our patent we are the only product that lets customers really see and measure for themselves what health benefits they are getting from what they consume.
Why will the company do well?
You only have to look at the number of health products on the market now to see that people are increasingly aware of what foods and drinks do to their bodies. Most of us consume things like yoghurts that help our digestion or spreads that lower our cholesterol, but of course, in most cases we’re just expected to believe that these things are healthy because the packets say so. I think people are questioning things more and more, so we wanted to create something that goes beyond marketing health claims to provide real proof.
— Epic® (@epicsportuk) January 20, 2016
Where are you based?
Our main office is in Hereford, UK, but the nature of our business means that a lot of the team aren’t tied to the office all the time, and the supplement itself is manufactured offsite at a facility that meets the rigorous standards required of food products.
When was the company launched?
Our first product, EPIC Sport, is due to launch later this year, in summer 2016. Projects like this don’t happen overnight though, of course, so the team of founders have been working on it for a long time already. In fact, one of the co-founders of the company, Richard Wood spent decades researching why natural diet allows isolated population groups around the world to avoid age-related rises in blood pressure, which is how epicatechin-rich foods like apples and cacao were identified as being so beneficial to cardiovascular health.
What have been your biggest wins to date?
The real big breakthrough was getting our patent. By securing that it gave our company something that makes us stand out as pioneering, marrying food and technology in a way that has never been done before.
Although we haven’t officially launched yet, word about what we are doing got out to the industry through some of our PR activity and attracted interest from some of the largest distributors around the world. Having such potentially big deals in the pipeline is a huge win for us, and means we might need to scale our operations quite quickly.
What type of people (market segment) are you trying to attract to your product?
The fitness supplement industry is already worth billions of dollars worldwide, as athletes and fitness enthusiasts are open to investing in products that improve their health and performance. We’re not necessarily just talking about body builders or professional athletes, but there are thousands of amateur triathletes, marathon runners, rowers, footballers, swimmers and any number of other sportspeople who take pride in their performance and want to push themselves to be the best they can be. We chose to launch EPIC Sport as our first product to market to reach these kinds of people.
Tell us about your team?
The four co-founders of the company are Dominic Wood (CEO), Dr Richard Wood (Chairman), Matthew Parsons (CTO) and Peter Ropner (Director). The four of us have been working tirelessly to get our idea off the ground for some time now, and we’re fortunate that we’re now starting to build a team of great specialists around us.
What are you long term plans for your company?
The next year or two are going to be huge for us, as our various products finally launch to market. We’re already talking to major global distributors, so I would like to think that in 5 years EPIC will be a brand that is recognised on the shelves around the world with a loyal army of customers who are experiencing the health benefits of epicatechin.
What are your favourite tech gadgets?
The coffee machine in the office, its controlled by an app to keep everyone fueled by caffeine. Apart from that it’s the launch of the occulus rift later in the year.
What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?
We love all wearable and health tech so they would be high up on our wish list. Before too long, hopefully we’ll be able to walk around with devices strapped to us measuring everything and anything about how we live.
How do people get in touch with you?
EPIC Sport is due to launch later this year but people can visit our website, for more information and to pre-order the product. Our company website that explains much more of the science behind what we do can be found at www.naturallyepic.co