"With recognition of our young age, we are always learning, and this has allowed our school project idea transform into a business."
- Carolina Baigorri, Susana Cappello, and Victoria Roca, Co-Founders of Smart Straws
We sat down with the three pre-college founders of Smart Straws who are the youngest WIN Lab entrepreneurs and discussed their motivations, advice for entrepreneurs, and product which detects the most common date-rape drugs.
Q. Tell us what prompted you to start your venture, Smart Straws?
We have co-founded Smart Straws, a plastic straw that detects the most common date-rape drugs: GHB and Ketamine. We collectively converted Susana's original idea of having a pendant change color when detected of a date-rape drug to a straw. We are all beginning college soon and are aware of the date-rape culture, so we wanted to bring a discrete tool to the market.
Q. What has been your greatest success so far in your entrepreneurial journey and why?
We collectively believe that winning the Miami Herald's Business Plan Competition 2017 has opened amazing opportunities and have gained more exposure to our business idea. We are deeply grateful for this success of winning this local, newspaper competition.
Q. At 17 & 18 years old, you three co-founders are the youngest women to participate in the WIN Lab. What advice do you have for other aspiring young women entrepreneurs?
For aspiring young women entrepreneurs we strongly believe that they should find an accelerator to help develop your business idea. It is important to remember that a successful business always starts with an idea...
Q. Where do you get your inspiration from?
We all have our own individual motivations. However on a collective scale, we strongly feel that with all the sexual assaults that occurring everyday and because we are young women, we know that bringing our Smart Straws will change the game of date-rape drugs in social scenes.
Q. What was the best piece of advice you ever received?
As a group, the best advice we were given to us was that "a goal without a plan is only a wish."
Interested in joining the next WIN Lab cohort of women entrepreneurs? Head here to learn more about our application cycle!