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Imagine, it’s early in the morning and you’re craving for a cappuccino to start your day. You open the fridge but unfortunately the milk has passed its expiration date. What do you do? FreshStrips, the lightweight winner from Get in the Ring Netherlands helps you with this choice. How exactly are they doing this? We sat together with the co-founder and CEO Marios Chryssolouris to know how anyone can come up with a billion dollar idea in a beer time.

THE STORY
Marios Chryssolouris was working as a consultant for EY when he met his partner Koon. They were both caught by the startup fever at the HighTech Campus and decided to enter the startup world. They brainstormed different ideas over beers and the one catching their attention was the dynamic expiration labeling system. They crunched up the numbers, saw the huge potential and impact of their idea. Voila: Fresh Strips was born!

HOW IT WORKS
Fresh Strips is a small plastic sticker that gets attached to food packaging. The sticker changes color whenever the food package is exposed to heat. Currently consumers are only relating to the expiration date to know whether the food is still good, but as Marios advocates, this can be misleading:

“The biggest food waste happens at the consumer’s end. Most of the people don’t understand the concept of ‘best buy date’. Even after this date the food is often still edible. We are trying to change that perception.”

For example if an expiration date is set to be 5th of December a product could be good to be consumed even after that, however, if you forget to put it in the fridge it might go bad even on the 25th of November. Fresh Strips’ dynamic labeling system solves both of these problems and assures that you are eating quality food and actually saving money.

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SUCCESS
Marios has a clear vision: Fresh Strips is not only for the food market, but there’s an important step to make to healthcare. In this industry Fresh Strips aims to impact by controlling the temperature at which vaccinations are exposed.

For now, Marios measures success by landing a pilot contract with a big food company and winning both Merck’s Displaying Future Awards and Get in the Ring the Netherlands. Great accomplishments, knowing that Fresh Strips was founded in September this year!

CHALLENGES
Although promising, Fresh Strips isn’t there yet. One of the most important challenges is to scale up production. Second, and maybe even more important is that the strips needs to comply to every product in a different way.  As you can imagine, chicken has a different process of decay than milk does. So to be able to able to provide quality control, Fresh Strips needs to spend time and go in depth in every process.

CONNECTIONS
Fresh Strips would love to hear from you if want to contribute or give expert advice! They highly appreciate feedback and if you are in the food or medical supply industry, know a big producer or just want to add some experience – reach out and we will introduce you!