Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with James Kornacki, PhD, Founder and CEO of Üllo, located in Miami Beach, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Üllo is a first-of-its-kind wine purifier that gives you the option to remove sulfite preservatives from wine. Sulfites are a common cause of allergies and sensitivities to wine. Our customers are hundreds of thousands of people who, like me, have always wanted to enjoy wine freely.
Tell us about yourself
Üllo was born from science because I'm a scientist at heart. I was always both fascinated by and particularly good at chemistry, ultimately earning my doctorate in organic chemistry from Northwestern University. There I noticed it was becoming more challenging to make a career in the hard science, especially in academia, and I became determined to chart my own course instead. I used my background in science to invent a novel polymer capable of sequestering sulfites from wine without disrupting the wine's chemistry or removing anything unintended in the process. This is the same Selective Sulfite™ polymer at work in all of our products today.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Sustaining a profitable product. Consumer products is a notoriously challenging space. It became evident immediately that the key to success in this space is the development of products that people find both useful and delightful — there's simply no room for minimum viable products anymore.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Prioritizing — learning to separate the unimportant from the critically important and developing a plan of attack accordingly.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Develop confidence, resilience, and trust. The first two are a yin and yang and a reminder that life is lived at the edge of your comfort zone. Since no empire is built alone, you must also find people you truly trust to help you. I suppose they must also fully trust you.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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