3 Irish start-ups helping you mind your health
As part of the RTE Boost My Business initiative, journalist Fiona Alston talks to us at Phytaphix as one of three Irish start-ups whose products aim to improve the health of the nation.
Conor Kerley has had a keen interest in health and nutrition after his multiple sclerosis diagnosis as a teenager, since then he has gone on to earn many qualifications and accolades in nutrition and dietetics.
When the country disappeared into our own homes a year ago Kerley was in the middle of research and development on some products in the areas of blood pressure and blood sugar but the pandemic put paid to the clinical trials he had organised; he had to stall his plans and get creative.
Phytaphix created a new product Immune Phix.
"We worked really hard to go from clinical trial ideas to a new concept and commercialisation and thankfully we were able to do that within six months," says Kerley. "We eventually launched on October 12th as a direct consumer business."
Although the product creation moved quickly there was a slight delay in the digital side of the company.
"Our website was delayed, our website didn't go live until November 11th, almost a month later," he explains. "Our first order from our website was from a teacher in San Diego and I have no idea how they found out about us."
"We have now exported to 14 countries, most recently Singapore and Vietnam," he adds.
Not only are they in high global demand but in the short time since they launched, they have racked up a few titles to their name.
"We’re five months old and we have been shortlisted for five award finals, which validates the quality and the innovativeness of our product," says Kerley.
Immune Phix is a nutrition product which can be added to drinks, cereal, shakes or really whatever you are eating. It contains Vitamins B12, C and D3 and has the minerals Magnesium, Selenium and Zinc, and is created using all Irish ingredients. As the name would suggest it is specifically for immunity and to help with energy levels.
The team of two has been supported by their local enterprise office and the New Frontiers programme and they are based in the retail development centre at the Dundalk Institute of Technology.