Interview with Drugs and Me

Recently, Moonshot had a very interesting conversation with one of the founders of Drugs and Me —Iván Ezquerra. The startup has a very unconventional idea, and Iván kindly shared with us what lead to it development, his view on healthcare industry and plans for future development of Drugs and Me.

Can you please tell me about your startup idea? In which industry are you operating?

We are in the health industry, and the name of our startup is Drugs and Me. Right now, we offer an educational website that teaches about existing harm reduction methods from drug use. Right now, the reality is that people do take drugs even though it is illegal in many places. History has proven that zero-tolerance policies are not an effective solution. We don’t encourage consumption of drugs, but think that the right approach to avoiding accidents is education and a honest conversation about the topic.

Furthermore, we run educational workshops at high schools. They are aimed at sixth-formers, and these events are supported and funded by the Union.

Why did you choose this industry in particular?

First of all, I study neuroscience and one of the startup co-founders in does pharmacology. Thus, we were familiar with the healthcare field. At some point, we realised that there is a lack of concise and accessible information about drug use. A government websites has good quality information, however there you cannot find anything regarding a safe process of taking drugs. There is another website about drug use, but it has a very inconvenient layout. In our website, we summarise scientific information from reliable sources and provide it in a format that is easy and understandable for a user.

What are the next steps your startup will be taking?

At the moment, we are still at the proof of concept stage. However, this year will be dedicated to raising funding with the help of Union. In addition, we are currently developing an app, which will be a health monitoring app accompanying user before, in the moment and after drug use. With it, we are hoping to achieve partnership with festivals and nightclubs, that could serve as a sort of revenue. In addition, our website has a donation section, and we encourage readers to support our project.

Why did you join Moonshot Launchpad?

One of the things we definitely want to learn is how to design a business plan. The idea that we are taking forward is not exactly highly profitable. Thus, we operate as a non-profit organisation. In our opinion, this is the most appropriate legal structure for our startup. In comparison, charities are known to be inflexible and require a lot of paperwork. Having a clear business plan would help us to further explore and solidify our decision

What is the biggest opportunity that Moonshot provides, in your opinion?

I would say that the most enlightening part of the programme is a chance to communicate with speakers and discuss future of the industry with them. You can hear what experts in the field focus their attention on right now. This is a great opportunity to fill gaps in the knowledge, which I, as a non-business student, have. This includes constructing a business plan and exploring marketing strategies.

Please give some advice to those who want to create their own startup!

Think more about the time have and how you can invest it. I see time as the most important resource. Thus, it is important to use it wisely and plan everything. 
 Another advice is to be brave and to take risks. The only way you can learn is by making mistakes. On the basis of your mistakes you build up your experience and thus become closer to achieving your goal.

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