The journey from former smoker and medical student to startup founder.
So, what does Q-Cigarettes, Inc. do exactly?
"We’re a great new option for quitting smokers. We combine all clinical guidelines and recommendations, as well as multiple aspects of tobacco dependence , in one consumer-friendly package."
What sets you apart from other smoking cessation programs?
"Well, we’re the first to do counseling and nicotine replacement from a mobile app. We’re also leveraging mobile app’s communication advantages over traditional telephone counseling.”
You’re a med student, when did you decide to start Q-Cigs?
"Momentum really started building in my third year of medical school during my clinical rotations. As the idea developed, I realized that this could be a way to make a huge impact on medicine."
What was your inspiration for the idea?
"Many emotional reasons. Personally, I was a smoker, and I had many friends and family who were as well. When I began taking care of lung cancer and COPD patients, the inspiration became clear."
Do you feel being a former smoker gives you an advantage?
Absolutely. We do consumer interviews and market research, but being able to rely on my own experience has given me a deeper understanding of the problem, and motivation to solve it.”
How has your medical background benefited you?
“It’s huge for credibility and insight. I experienced healthcare and saw the problems from a provider's perspective, but my education gave me the foundation to understand how to solve it."
What has been most challenging about founding a startup?
“Relying on others is a two-sided coin. Working with a lot of people who let you down makes you really appreciate the great people you meet on an experience like this.”
What has been most gratifying about Q-Cigs?
"Knowing we've made something that will benefit people. A great idea is awesome, but actually creating it is something else entirely."
What is most important to keep in-mind as a founder?
"The commitment to starting a company will make you go above and beyond what you thought you could do. It will test your tolerance for rejection, contempt, and humiliation."
Any wise words for other young startup founders?
"It's only worth it if it’s important, and you have the passion to stand behind what you're doing."