Ashifi Gogo was a student at Dartmouth College when he learned that thousands of people in the developing world grow sicker when the medication they think will treat them is fake. Counterfeit medications are falsely-labeled drugs including dangerous ingredients and little to no presence of the active ingredient found in the real version of the medicine.
This is a big, dangerous business. Over 190,000 people in Niger died after being injected with a fake meningitis vaccine in 1995 while in Ghana up to 40% of the drugs sold as medicine are considered counterfeit. The black market for counterfeit medications generated $200 billion last year. But Gogo found an innovative solution, cultivated through VentureWell’s mentoring, an $18,000 investment and support, that transformed his idea into a successful global company, Sproxil.
Founded while Gogo was still a VentureWell college scientist in 2007, Sproxil uses its award-winning Mobile Product Authentication™ that corresponds to a specific, authentic medication. Users in countries can text the code found on their drugs directly to the manufacturer for verification. Today this innovation has lowered costs, increased efficacy and mobility, enabling over 10 million users worldwide to safely access legitimate medicine.
VentureWell’s E-Team Program prepared Gogo to attract such partners as the World Economic Forum, the Clinton Global Initiative, and funders like the Acumen Fund. Sproxil has been named the world’s most innovative company by Fast Company and Ashifi went on to earn a Patents for Humanity award from the US Patent and Trademark Office. Gogo was recently recognized by the Schwab Foundation as a recipient of the Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2014.
While Sproxil continues to garner success in the pharmaceutical industry, its technology now protect sproducts in over ten industries, including beauty & personal care, FMCG, electrical goods, automotive, oil & gas, and agribusiness.
Watch our new video, meet Ashifi Gogo, and learn more about Sproxil.
— Jo Ellen Warner, VentureWell