From idea to commercialization – in less than a year!

Less than a year ago, friends Giselle Esse Hyvönen, Karin Vangstad and Helena Levin started their company MeCovers. In June this year they delivered the first batch of blue skirts to the Central Hospital in Karlstad.

Enabling improved personal integrity during healthcare visits is the major driving force behind the company. At the same time, the aim is to offer a disposable yet sustainable product leaving a minimum environmental footprint.

“Today, our product is 80 per cent recyclable, but of course we want that figure to be even higher,” says Karin Vangstad.

The solution to their own need: the blue skirt

A few years ago, co-founder Giselle Esse Hyvönen had frequent visits to the hospital. She then made a reflection: “Should it be this way?”

“I felt that no one should have to stand like that, undressed in a room with strangers. In addition, approaching and getting into a gynaecological examination chair can be very difficult and even distressing. If the feeling of discomfort was eliminated, I also found that the examinations could be made more efficient because the patient then feels more relaxed,” says Giselle.

Giselle started designing a skirt that could be the solution. She presented her idea to a doctor at the hospital, and the feedback was all positive. But to realize a concept, it takes a good team. Then she talked about her idea and vision to Helena Levin and Karin Vangstad, who immediately understood both the benefit and the business opportunity.

With a strong team, things can move fast. In less than a year, Karin Vangstad, Giselle Esse Hyvönen and Helena Levin have taken the blue skirt from idea to market.
Photo from: Mecovers.com

First customer found, and financing round completed

In the autumn of 2018, Giselle, Helena and Karin started investing in the undertaking that turned into the MeCovers business. They worked intensely to find the right manufacturer, to get the CE mark in place, and of course to locate cooperation partners and customers. And their hard work and high tempo paid off: just before the summer of 2019, MeCovers delivered its first batch of more than 1,000 skirts to women’s healthcare in the region of Värmland and the skin clinic in Karlstad.

“We’ve had the advantage to find good cooperation partners, like Cellcomb, Harry Holms and communications agency Bulldozer, all with a strong local base. But we needed capital in order to scale up and take the next step,” Karin Vangstad explains. 

MeCovers has several well-known ambassadors. Here are Anne Söderlund and Sanna Lundell.
Photo from: The MeCovers Facebook page.

The company is currently closing its first investment round. They have managed to raise the capital needed to take the company to the next level.

“The response has been very good and everyone we met during this investment round agrees that it’s a useful and important product worth investing in. Also, it feels great that we’re backed by so many local investors,” says Karin.

Focus on sales

With a product already in use, a production line that works and capital raised, MeCovers can focus more on selling and testing its product in healthcare.

“This autumn we’ll distribute 2,600 blue skirts to midwives across the country. We do this primarily to get them acquainted with the product and to quickly introduce it to settings where it makes a difference. We’re also discussing with some regional healthcare administrations interested in testing the skirt.

But the world is big, and although MeCovers primarily focuses on the Swedish market, they are getting ready to take on other ones.

“Helena Levin, one of the three co-owners, lives permanently in Belgium since over 20 years, which gives us a quicker insight into the European market. Already in September, we’re going to Germany to meet new stakeholders and try to introduce our product there too,” says Giselle. “The coolest thing you can do is to make a difference in some way, and that’s exactly what we want to do with our product,” Giselle sums up.

Read more about MeCovers here.

MeCovers cooperates with Sting Bioeconomy since the spring of 2019.