Meet the founders: Solveiga Pakštaitė
“We have actually had to develop a new area of science to be able to create this product…”
Mimica’s founder tells her story…
As an industrial design student at university, Solveiga Pakštaitė had a particular interest in inclusive and user-centred design. One semester, while on a work placement with the Blind Association, she noticed several issues which specifically impacted the visually impaired.
She observed many visually-impaired people were choosing unhealthy or processed foods because they could not identify when fresh foods would spoil, based on reading the “use-by” date. Intrigued, Solveiga began to explore how the visually-impaired could access food expiry information without relying solely on the “use-by” date.
“I quickly realised that we are all blind to our food’s true expiry dates which contributes to an excessive amount of food waste worldwide. That’s why I decided to start Mimica.”
After graduating university, Solviega began developing her concept of a food label that would turn bumpy exactly when food spoils. And in 2016, she began lab testing her concept at the University of Chester.
“The science behind our technology has actually never been done before. We’ve been developing the technology for the past three years. It’s not like we can take an off-the-shelf concept that everyone knows about, add something new to it, file a patent and then it’s done. We have actually had to develop a new area of science to be able to create this product.”
In addition to creating a new area of science, Solveiga’s label has had to overcome the prohibitive costs of some food labels, which have led to several competitors’ failings. Other companies working to reduce food waste have used colour changing solutions which are extremely expensive to suppliers. They also do not assist the visually impaired to distinguish food expiry information.
“I still feel very strongly that we must deliver the original thing that I set out to do. Mimica is still aimed at aiding those with visual impairment as well as aiming to reduce food waste in general.”
Solveiga’s tactile label provides value-for-money at 1.25 pence each. The cost of milk that is wasted because of expiry date labelling averages out to 4 pence a bottle for suppliers. Mimica Touch extends the shelf life of milk by two days, reducing food waste by 63% and providing an excellent return for manufacturers.
As many other entrepreneurs have espoused, the key to a great business is surrounding yourself with great people. And Solveiga has been able to accomplish just that. The CEO and CTO of Its Fresh, one of the only other successful businesses in the smart packaging market, have recently joined Mimica’s C-suite team. With an exceptional team of innovators and the science now fully developed, Solveiga is set to launch her product within the first six months of 2019. Check out MimicaLab.com for more!