Hello all uBiome Citizen Scientists!
In the last few weeks we have built and shipped out more than 800 kits. That’s roughly the population of Medocino, CA, and a third of all our Indiegogo orders. We want to give a huge thanks to our wonderful fulfillment company, Swish for helping us make this happen. If you are still waiting for your package, we thank you for your patience and apologize for the delay, we expect to have the remaining kits shipped out within the next couple weeks.
We are starting to get the samples back, and wanted to share an example of the creativity in our wonderful community. This is a package we received from a rather crafty participant. Everyone needs a little “bling” in their day. Thanks!
Microbiome in Education
We are also looking in our community for anyone who may have ideas on teaching about the microbiome in the classroom. We’d like to put together an educational workshop with some group activities, things to do with the kits; basically, we want to convey the power of next generation sequencing. If anyone has any ideas we’d love to hear from you, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the Classroom to the Lab
We put out the call for suggestions of names for our robots, and we had an overwhelming response! More than 1250 people sent us their suggestions, and the top 4 name sets stood out above the rest by having over a dozen people suggesting each one. The final four are:
R2D2 and C3PO
Rosie and HAL
Flora and Fauna
Thing 1 and Thing 2
Please help us name our robots! Cast your vote today and save our poor robots from a life with no name!
Partnering for Cures
uBiome will be speaking at the Partnering for Cures conference in NYC from November 3 - 5. This is going to be an amazing conference, featuring the director of the NIH, the director of the American Heart Association, dozens of luminaries, and hundreds of innovators in the area of health. We have one complimentary guest pass to give away. Please write to us at email@example.com with your best suggestions for how to use the microbiome to partner for a cure and we'll enter you to win!Huge Thank You!
Finally, we are so grateful to all our wonderful supporters from Indiegogo that we have started a thank you wall on our website. We would like to recognize everyone in the way they wish to be recognized, so please put your name, as you would like it to be displayed, on this form.
Thanks again for all your participation in this project.
Hello to our patient supporters!
Thanks for your commitment to this project, and for being patient with us as we work the kinks out of our shipping system for kits. Here’s the lowdown on what we have been busy doing.
We initially started packing kits and preparing parcels ourselves. Our plan was to ship a few small batches, make sure everything worked, and then send out the rest of the kits.
Then we realized just HOW much work it was to pack thousands of boxes. It was insane. So we decided to work with a fulfillment company. We knew that it would take some time to get setup, although we felt that it would be better in the long run.
At the same time, we have been tweaking our website to make sure that we can a) handle the load of thousands of users starting to use the site b) provide a good user experience to everyone for a variety of kit types and c) make sure we don’t do anything dumb. We’re doing our best, but please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you come up with any problems so we can address them as quickly as possible. You can also chat with us at www.ubiome.com using the chat box in the lower righthand corner.
Where’s my kit?!
We have set up a system where you can check on the status of your kit. You enter your email address and we will send you a link to check the status of your order. We’ll tell you what step of the process your individual package has completed. If we haven’t shipped yours yet, we’re genuinely sorry. We’re going as fast as we can.
We are shipping out packages using USPS first class mail, so the parcels cannot be tracked. We are working to change that, and are setting the system up, but this may take some time as we are really overloaded.
Zendesk to manage emails
We are also setting up a new system to track customer service and support questions, using Zendesk. If you have a customer service question, please email it to email@example.com. That address will ensure that your email gets tracked and we have made sure that you get an answer. Our old inbox has all kinds of messages in it, and we want to make sure yours doesn’t get lost.
Please register your kit before using it
When you get your package, please register your kit at register.ubiome.com before sampling as there are some sample-specific questions we’d like to ask while they are fresh in your mind.
A big thank you!Thanks so much for being a part of this. We know this is taking longer than any of us would want, but this scale of project takes a lot of work.
Thank you all so much for being patient with us -- we're packing and shipping kits as fast as we can.
You may get an email asking you to verify your address or indicating that your kits have been sent to shipping. If you haven't gotten yours yet, we're still processing earlier orders and will get to yours as soon as possible.
Thanks again for participating in our project and for being patient as we pack and ship thousands of kits!
Here's a photo of the madness that is taking place in our lab...
Sorry for all of the messages — Indiegogo had some hiccups and I wasn’t sure that the message had been sent.
Now that we are shipping our first kits, I want to give you an update on the process. We will be shipping the kits out in small batches. As your batch is prepared for shipping, we will send you an email well in advance notifying you of the address on file that we will be shipping the kit to, and giving you an opportunity to change it. So, no need to update us with your address until then!
We will also be shipping t-shirts out with the regular packages, so you will receive them at the same time.
Some of you have asked if you can skip the line and get your kit earlier. We are planning the shipments to optimize our product pipeline, so we can’t accept requests to ship at a particular time but we are working to get all of the kits out as soon as possible.
Please feel free to write if you have any other questions.
We know a lot of you are excited about the kits, so here’s what the kit will look like when you get it in the mail!
the uBiome Team
Hello Citizen Scientists!
We here at uBiome have some great news to share with all of you – our kits are finally complete! Not only that, but they look absolutely stunning, if we do say so ourselves. We are thrilled to be able to announce this to all of you, and can’t wait to hear all of your reactions when you get these great kits in your mailbox. As Bill Nye the Science Guy says…Science Rules!
We do apologize for the delay in shipping the kits – believe us, we wanted to get these out to you as early as possible, and are happy to show you the results of our labors.
I know that you’re really anxious to receive your kits, but we are doing a SLOW, CONTROLLED LAUNCH over the next six weeks, with a lot of testing to make sure that we provide the best experience possible for everyone. You will be contacted if you are part of our initial tests. If not, please sit tight. Your kits will arrive as soon as possible.
We started the first kits to initial paying customers in the past few days, and will ramp up our shipping rate week by week. It may take a bit for your to receive your kit because we are shipping them out in stages and checking with our users to make sure that they have a good experience with the kit instructions, website, and so forth. We appreciate your patience as we work to get these kits to you, and look forward to receiving your samples soon!
The kit comes complete with collection swabs, collection tubes, a handy vial holder to keep the tube steady, and instructions on how to collect your samples. We want to make it as easy as possible to be a part of SCIENCE!
While our kits are remarkably user-friendly, if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact us! For the fastest response, we recommend contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours in flora,
the uBiome team