ChromaDex: A Lesson in Sustainable Vision

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While building any business from zero is challenging enough on its own, building a business that has the potential to be a billion-dollar enterprise requires creating an innovative business model. Growing the core business means having the discipline and vision to stick to the long-term business plan.

Build a Company With Vision

ChromaDex is a natural products company that, since 1999, has provided proprietary, science-based solutions and ingredients to the dietary supplement, food, beverage, animal health, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical markets. ChromaDex has successfully launched four patent-protected, branded ingredients, each of which has the potential to revolutionize the market.

Instead of focusing on the ingredient side of the business first, we spent the better part of a decade building a natural product chemistry company with three wholly owned synergistic businesses: our natural product fine chemicals (known as “phytochemicals”) business, our chemistry and analytical testing business, and our product regulatory and safety consulting business.

In developing these businesses, we sought to: generate the revenue to grow the company without leaning on friends and family, or seeking venture capital funds; build our reputation as an expert in natural product chemistry; and gain the highly valuable market insight that would support the successful launch of the branded ingredient business.

Through what we refer to as our legacy business, we have built tremendous brand reputation in the natural products area. We service more than 2,000 global customers, many of them Fortune 500 companies.

Create Advantages Along the Way

Our unique business model is a very efficient way of accumulating valuable intellectual property backed by an existing body of scientific evidence. According to the original business plan, once the intellectual property had been secured, we could then develop and commercialize novel ingredient technologies for which we believed strong consumer markets existed.

A major advantage of our business model is that it provides a significant barrier to entry for would-be competitors—even those with significant bankrolls—to reproduce since it is built on access to early-stage ingredient technologies and insight into consumer markets accumulated over the course of the years. The plan has always been to pursue a model that gives us a protected, first-mover advantage in acquiring ingredient technologies. We waited nine years to start executing on that plan, building our brand, market knowledge and a market for our innovative products.

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