Fluus co-founder and CEO Liv shares her tips + inspiration
With women only taking up 5% of leadership positions within tech companies, this International Women’s Day we asked our CEO and co-founder, Olivia Ahn, for her tips on starting a business, why she founded Fluus, and who she looks to for inspiration.
Why did you start Fluus?
I believe it is the responsibility of the companies designing and producing products, to make them easy to use and dispose of sustainably.
When I looked at the menstrual products available to us on the market, I was frustrated that all of them forced me to produce permanent waste. Why should I feel guilty about adding to landfill when I have no choice but to bin my pads?
Fluus was founded to create a new breed of consumer product companies - taking back the responsibility of sustainable manufacturing and disposal of period products, so you don't have to worry or feel guilty. We developed flushable pads to use the existing piped infrastructure in bathrooms, to safely and hygienically take away used products and process them in a sustainable disposal process, breaking the pads down to regenerate into fertiliser, renewable energy and water.
Fluus is here to remove permanent waste from your bathroom and the planet.
What advice would you give anyone wanting to start a business?
My steepest learning curves come from failing. Fail fast and learn from your past experiences to ensure you never make the same mistake twice. I was used to waiting for perfection before actually doing anything, and one of the biggest advantages you have as a start-up is speed and flexibility. Use your advantages to move and learn quickly so you can make better decisions.
If you could give any tips for fundraising what would they be?
“My two tips for fundraising are, first: Have clarity in your fundraise - succinctly summarise what you have done and what will your incoming capital enable you to do.
For example for our seed round, we had the world’s first flushable and certified period pad which sold out our pilot production. We needed to fundraise to scale our production capacity so we could launch on a bigger scale in the UK and meet the demand for flushable period pads.
My second would be don’t just look at the capital. Try to engage with smart money. What else can this fundraise do for the company aside from the injection of capital? For example, unlock key suppliers, expand your company value along the value chain, and open up new markets.”
Who is an inspiration to you?
“Eileen Burbidge has been someone who I have been privileged to learn from on my journey, she’s a partner at Passion Capital and an investor in Fluus. She’s held multiple leadership positions within tech companies such as Curry’s, Monzo and Lululemon and has valuable knowledge with me since starting Fluus.”
Try Fluus, the world’s first flushable period pad, here.