What does it take to develop and launch a consumable product? What are the unique challenges with an ingestible product? My guest today is innovator and entrepreneur, Chris Tolles. Chris co-founded Sundots with Emilia Javorsky MD, MPH, a physician-scientist focused on developing new tools to improve health and well being. Sundots are the world’s first gummy for sun protection and provide an innovative solution to prevent sun damage to your skin. In our conversation, Chris touches on the intricate process of developing an ingestible product, challenges he and his team have faced along the way, how they identified their target audience, advice for startup entrepreneurs, and much more! You don’t want to miss a minute of this engaging and informative episode featuring Chris!

Developing an ingestible product.

As if launching a new product wasn’t hard enough, try making it a consumable product! Far and away, there are more challenges, difficulties and hurdles when it comes to producing and marketing an ingestible product like Sundots. On this episode, you’ll hear from Chris Tolles as he goes through the process of developing his product, Sundots. Much of the product development process centered around safety tests, procuring pure, quality ingredients, and passing ethical standards. Sundots are based on the active ingredient polypodium leucotomos, a fern extract from Ecuador backed by 30+ years of research for sun protective properties, including blinded human clinical trials conducted by Harvard. To hear more about the development process with Sundots, make sure to listen to this episode!

Pre-campaign efforts that led to early success.

How does a profitable brand lay the groundwork for success and capitalize on it before and during a crowdfunding campaign? What lessons can you learn that you can apply to your startup? On this episode, you’ll hear from Chris Tolles as he shares how Sundots was able to stay in contact with their backers as well as learn from early testers and build on their feedback. For Chris and his team, it came down to not only making sure that the product resonated with consumers but that the storytelling aspect made a connection as well. Learn more about Sundots and how they’ve been able to get a product off of the ground that speaks to consumers pain points on this exciting episode!

Why a subscription service is so attractive.

As a business leader and entrepreneur, you are constantly on the lookout for ways to make your product stand out from the competition. What is the best way to accomplish this goal? On this episode, you’ll hear from innovator Chris Tolles as he explains how Sundots stands out with their subscription model. Because Chris and his team have worked so hard on creating a high-quality product, they wanted to find a way to make their awesome product part of everyday life for their consumers. This led Chris to market his product with a subscription service model where customers pay for a month, three months, six months or a full year’s worth of products. Listen to this episode as Chris expands on this concept and how it helped Sundots stand out!

The key to success? Real benefits!

Everyone wants to know what the “key” is to launch a successful and thriving product. Is there a secret key strategy that will make one product sell better than others? Yes, but it’s not so secret. Create products that resonate with people! One of the best ways to do this is by creating products that end up producing real benefits. While creating consumable products has its own set of challenges, a great way to midgate some of these challenges is by crafting an effective message about their benefits. On this episode, Chris Tolles talks about the benefits of Sundots and how he and his team were able to communicate that message to their customers. You don’t want to miss this fascinating episode!

Key Takeaways

  • [1:05] Chris Tolles joins the podcast and shares the backstory for Sundots.
  • [3:30] What was product development like for an ingestible product?
  • [5:45] The biggest challenge Chris and his team faced.
  • [7:00] Pre-campaign efforts Chris and his team used to set Sundots up for success.
  • [9:30] How did Chris niche down his target audience?
  • [12:00] Is it hard to gain consumer trust with a product that has medical claims?
  • [14:30] The biggest surprise so far.
  • [16:00] Chris’ advice for startup entrepreneurs.
  • [17:30] What’s the plan for the future of Sundots?
  • [19:00] Chris enters the Launch Round.
  • [20:15] How to connect with Sundots.


Connect With Sundots


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