Dr. Geun Sig Cha, CEO
|Education||BS, MS Korea University, Dept. of Chemistry
PhD University of Michigan, Dept. of Chemistry
1991~2015 Professor at Kwangwoon University, Dept. of Chemistry
1994~1996 CAS Corp. Technical Advisor
1996~2001 Dade Behring Technical Advisor
2000~2005 Sensicore, Inc. Technical Advisor
2015~Present Emeritus Professor at Kwangwoon University.
2000~Present i-SENS, Inc., CEO
2011 Ministerial Citation Award for Korea’s Startup Exhibition (Ministry of Knowledge Economy)
2014 Ministerial Citation of Merit Award for Medical Device Industry (Ministry of Health and Welfare)
2016 Presidential Citation of Merit for Electronics& IT Day (Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy)
Dr. Hakhyun Nam, Co-Founder
|Education||BS Seoul National University, Dept. of Chemistry
MS, PhD Michigan State University, Dept. of Chemistry
1992~2015 Professor at Kwangwoon University, Dept. of Chemistry
Present Emeritus Professor at Kwangwoon Univ.
2000~Present i-SENS, Inc., CTO
2008 Health and Medical Science and Technology Research and Development Excellence Award
2011 Citation of Merit Award for Industrial-education Cooperation
2011 Citation of Merit Award for Industrial Technology
The global market for glucose sensors when i-SENS entered the market was 6–7 billion USD. Given the size of our operations, achieving just 0.1 percent of the market would suffice for the company to sustain itself. Moreover, 95% of the Korean market was controlled by four major companies. There were no local competitors. I determined that i-SENS could produce a product that was more advanced than what was available from the competition. The other products required larger amounts of blood and had slower measuring times, for example requiring 5 μL of blood and taking 15–30 seconds to measure. We believed that we could create a product that required less than 1 μL, and less than ten seconds. Hence, i-SENS developed the most advanced 0.5 μL and five-second glucose sensor on the Korean market at the time based solely on our own patents.
After launching our first product, we were approached by overseas companies to OEM for them. This enabled our sales to surpass 11 million USD within three years of launching the product. During that period, we had to increase our capacity from 30,000 to 300,000 strips per day to meet worldwide demand, requiring ingenuity. By 2006, we established a manufacturing facility in Wonju which could produce 1.5 billion strips per year. Today we have expanded to 2.2 billion strips per year. We now have two facilities in South Korea, and a third in China. One of the issues in China is that their regulations are very complex, but we are hoping to get registration early this year.
i-SENS stands for Intelligent Sensor Technology.
“Sensing Ahead, Caring More” means the will to move forward with leading biosensor technology and the insight into a better future, the effort to make customers’ lives healthier through leading research, and a responsible attitude of promoting human health as a member of society.
We believe that the key to our success lies in our ability to attract, retain and motivate a highly skilled and diverse workforce. Our work environment encourages every employee to build their career and pursue their passion. Our people make our business. They conceive, develop and manufacture our products and ensure they reach the patients who need them.
At the moment it is evenly distributed. In Korea we have 30–35 percent of the market share. We are also selling well in international markets, and selling globally through a partner in the USA. Our revenue in total is now 160 million USD, divided half and half between our own brand products and OEM. In 2012, we also won a national tender in New Zealand to become the sole BGM supplier until 2017. We won this tender again in 2017, so will remain as the sole supplier in New Zealand until 2022.
Overseas, we collaborate with distributors and establish our own offices. If there is a high-quality distributor, we are more than willing to work with them. However, if there is the possibility to establish our brand presence there, we would prefer to make our name known. That being said, it is not possible to open every market. Moreover, without having a renowned brand, it is not possible to attract the best OEM partner. This balance is very important. Opening a market with one’s own brand will bring higher revenues but will also carry with it higher costs for marketing and general maintenance.