How Did ‘Drive Gum’ Start?

This article is written by Nardine B. M’barek, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Mr. Nazareno Mario Ciccarello comes from a very traditional family, his father has been a lawyer for his entire life, while his mother is a physical education teacher. That did influence how his life turns out to be a little bit, since he was a professional athlete for twenty years of his life, he also was a lieutenant in the military. Following that, he went to university and got a degree in political sciences while trying to follow his early dream of becoming a diplomat. 

Mr. Ciccarello then started participating in the corporate world, in which he did not remain for a long time. Instead, he talked about his most disruptive experience which is doing an MBA. During his time of studying for his MBA, he joined the Venture Lab, a place where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas and get the chance to be joined by other students in order to launch a startup and establish a company. 

On the other hand, Mr. Ciccarello also talked to us about how everything started with him. He has been traveling the world for the past few years. Actually, he traveled a lot. When he was in China, he had to ride many taxis because of his busy schedule. The strange thing he noticed was that every taxi driver he met was chewing gum, which made him trying to understand if there was a social habit related to this.

After conducting a few pieces of research related to this matter, he discovered through a study that the active chewing of gum helps people stay awake, and would make people react more quickly. That is when the ‘global’ problem of sleeping behind wheels was identified. This problem remains without a solution until now, resulting in an important number of car crashes and accidents ( between 10 and 20% of car accidents are the result of people actually sleeping behind the wheels.) 

Consequently, they had the idea of establishing a company, and to develop strategies to prevent these accidents by using chewing gum as an active ingredient. It is basically called “Drive Gum”, the first chewing gum that helps drivers stay awake, alert, and concentrated while driving thanks to the combined effect of caffeine, Guarana, and the proven scientific effect of chewing gum.  Being powered by two natural energy stimulants, each piece of Drive Gum is equal to half an espresso shot; it also contains just the right amount to stimulate the mind and keep it awake, without having any effect on its user’s diet, appetite, and her or his lifestyle. 

Mr. Ciccarello stated that if you do not know something, or how something works, you need to look for someone who does. He worked in many fields before such as biotech, and pharma, but had no idea concerning how confectionery works. That explains the fact that one of the founders of the company actually has 25 years of experience related to globally distributing confectionery. The idea of this product could be the solution to a global fatal problem.

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