Extending the healthy human lifespan is this company’s mission.
Could yoghurt be the elixir of life? The founders of Ageria think so.
American Corey Howe (front right) and his Austrian colleagues Andreas Stuermer, Alexander Gfrerer and David Weichselbaum set up their Irish company Ageria in 2015 with one radical aim – to develop a food product that offers, if not eternal youth, then at least the prospect of slowing down ageing.
The four met at a biohacker conference, and online, before participating in IndieBio, the Cork based synthetic biology accelerator programme founded by entrepreneur Bill Liao.
Their goal is to create a high performance ‘second gen’ yoghurt capable of eating into the $260 billion global anti-ageing product market. ThinkBusiness.ie caught up with co-founder Corey Howe at his home in Ohio for a chat.
How would I describe our business? Extending the healthy human lifespan is our mission. Ageria is a company pioneering the custom modification of yoghurt bacterial strains to produce health-beneficial compounds.
Our first product will be a yoghurt starter culture enriched in spermidine, which is known to extend lifespan in animals by up to 25% when supplemented. This ‘Youngurt’ will be the first direct source of spermidine on the market.
Our biggest achievement to date has been winning the 2015 Bank of Ireland startup award for Best Overseas Startup Setting up in Ireland.
Our lowest moment was when we got negative feedback from a potential partner and we coped with it by taking their feedback as motivation to make the right changes in our business.
At this point, our funding has been just from the business accelerator programme we participated in, IndieBio, but we have been in talks with several different investors.
We don’t have any state or bank support in our business so far.
If I were to start in business gain, I would act more quickly and spend less time planning. Many people inspire me in business and I admire Elon Musk, for his entrepreneurial ambitions. He just goes for it, no matter how big the project.
Being creative and doing something that has never been done motivates me.
I have found in the startup world that I have a great balance regarding both getting to pave a new road and getting to go down a road already travelled. Being the sole provider of a particular product or service to the public is motivating to me too.
It’s clear. To become a major yoghurt culture development company for the dairy industry and to be the leading company in the development of next generation yoghurt cultures.
It has to be time management. That stresses me. I find that there is always more to be doing and I sometimes struggle to stop working for the day because I don’t like the feeling of leaving something unfinished.
Business culture in Ireland
Honestly, I can’t think of anything to change. I have found Ireland to be a great place to start and grow a business.
Finally, what business advice would you give to another new company?
Actions speak louder than words.
Imges from ageria-bio.com & Shutterstock. Article by Sandra O’Connell. ⊕