Giorgio Pautrie is the founder and CEO at Dante Medical Solutions, the Italian start-up that created MindTheGum, the nutritional supplement that optimises mental performance in the form of chewing gum (mindthegum.com).
Dante Medical Solutions was founded by Giorgio and his brother Carlo in 2015, and this year, Zlatan Ibrahimović, the famous football player, became shareholder and testimonial of the company.
Q: MindTheGum was born from a dramatic personal experience you had in 2010 that changed your life. Can you tell more about MindTheGum and how it was created?
Giorgio: MindTheGum was born after a near-fatal car crash I had in 2010. The doctors, given the extent of my injuries, said it would be practically impossible for me to return to my studies at university.
Needing to concentrate twice as much, I began trying different products, from energy drinks to food supplements, with disappointing results. I needed a more effective product.
A family friend, Dr. Andrea De Zanetti owner of a pharmaceutical firm, Farmacia Legnani, facilitated the creation of the product that would later become MindTheGum.
MindTheGum is a nutritional supplement that optimises mental performance with a balanced formula that combines 15 natural active components and vitamins essential for the brain, all in a chewing gum.
This product helped me pass 23 exams in only one year, and finish my studies.
Q: MindTheGum is a product that drew the attention of a famous football player, Zlatan Ibrahimović, who decided to become shareholder and testimonial of the product. How did this happen?
Giorgio: Actually, it was Zlatan who came to know about MindTheGum early this year. He tried the product, and he immediately liked its effects on concentration, lucidity and mental energy.
We told him about our story and our project, and he proposed to join us and become our partner and testimonial.
We are honoured to have Zlatan as our partner. Who better than him symbolises success and genius?
Q: What results have you achieved till now? How are you dealing with the scale-up phase?
Giorgio: Since 2015, our turnover has doubled year by year; we expect to reach € 1 million turnover this year.
From an organizational point of view, our team is growing. We are searching for professionals to join the team, willing to support the company in its national and international expansion, and able to manage the growth, in terms of volume and operations, in an organised manner.
Our goal is to be present on all distribution channels: 1) bars and tobaccos, in order to be close to our customers; 2) large-scale retailers, to give visibility to the product; 3) pharmacy, to give credibility to the product; 4) online, to have a direct contact with our customers and get unfiltered feedback.
Q: And what about the international expansion? What are your plans?
Giorgio: MindTheGum is now available online throughout Europe. We are currently searching for commercial and distribution companies outside Italy, in order to expand our offline distribution network, in bars, tobaccos, pharmacies, and large-scale retailers.
Our plan is to cover all the European countries in the next two years, and be ready to launch outside Europe.
Q: What do you think of the Italian start-ups and what difficulties did you have – if any – when you started your business?
Giorgio: Structuring the team was probably the greater difficulty that we had when we started the business. It was hard to find professionals the company could economically afford, with sense of initiative, and willing to work on various tasks (also different from their original areas of specialisation) and to become accountable.
In general, I think that in Italy there are very good start-uppers and entrepreneurs, who are running their businesses in a complex context, in terms of bureaucracy and legislation.
Italian start-ups find it hard to raise large amount of capital in a short time period, and probably struggle to find the right investors, who provide capital but also valuable advice. We have been lucky since the beginning, but it is not something that you can take for granted.
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For more info on MindTheGum (and trying the product) visit: https://www.mindthegum.com/en/