by Kirsten Eldridge, Jolkona Volunteer
Our 16 social entrepreneurs in the Jolkona Catalyst program, a three-week mentor driven accelerator for founders from developing countries, will come from Bangladesh and Indonesia to Seattle next month. This three-week intensive program will allow them to further hone their business plans, learn how to tell their story, and gain new insights. We can’t wait to welcome them to our offices on October 25th!
Today’s feature is Souvik Aswad, Chief Growth Officer of Panacea, a venture that fights counterfeit prescription crime. Panacea prints a unique alphanumeric code on every medicine strip of a pharmaceutical brand, which consumers can check with an SMS, mobile app or website. This limits a counterfeiters’ ability to mass copy medicine packaging and puts the power of verification in the hands of the consumers.
You can also register for our Jolkona Catalyst Showcase on November 11th in the beautiful, new Galvanize co-working space in historic Pioneer Square. Click here to RSVP!
Outside of this project and work, what else do you do for fun in your home country? What other passions do you have?
I’m an avid reader of Quora & Medium. And sometimes I spend hours on Dribble or Codepen. I like to learn new stuff, right now I’m teaching myself HTML/CSS, Gamification and French. And I love listening to audiobooks, I just finished Zero to One, by Peter Thiel & Blake Masters.
What inspired you to start this venture?
I am a firm believer in the First Principles. I prefer to solve a problem at its core, fundamentally, which wasn’t being done to stop counterfeit medicines. And that bugged me.
What is one obstacle you have faced in running your social business? How did you overcome this obstacle?
For us, getting proper attention from our suppliers for our atypical requirements was a challenge. However, we are teaching ourselves to perform most of what our suppliers used to do for us.
What are you looking forward to when you come to the United States for the Jolkona Catalyst program?
I like to make connections before I need them, so that’s one goal. But just as delightful is to experience newer ways of doing things, which is very well gleaned from visiting new places and interacting with the people there.