When a person has a heart attack, survival is a game of seconds and often depends on the individual immediately getting CPR from someone nearby. Unfortunately, less than half of those who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest get the immediate help that they need before the professionals arrive. The majority of the population is not trained in the lifesaving procedure — and even those that are trained may not remember the steps in the pressure-filled situation of watching a heart attack firsthand.
Enter CPR LifeWrap, a medical aid device startup born out of a terrifying situation that Tennessee entrepreneur Felicia Jackson found herself in: her child choking. Though this event was in the minority of emergency situations where the victim is saved, Jackson realized there was a real need for a product that could turn anyone, anytime, into an emergency responder. “Emergency situations can cause panic and leave people unsure of how to help. I hope the CPR LifeWrap takes away that fear and in turn empowers people to save lives.”
Now the 20-year medical veteran is building her company out of Chattanooga’s Society of Work co-working space, while still serving as a physical therapy assistant at a large hospital. Read more about how her product costs a fractional price of its competitors, her challenges seeking funding, and the next product she has in store (hint: dogs and cats could need CPR, too).
Number of employees?
2 newly-appointed employees
The CPR LifeWrap is a disposable CPR template used to guide any bystander through effective CPR. The LifeWrap has an attached one-way valve mouth barrier, visual hand placements for proper compression, and simple CPR instructions atop the wrap with the ability to include any language for global use. They come in adult, child and infant sizes with a retail price of $20 for infant and $25 for adult and child. LifeWraps are flexible, yet strong enough to endure CPR, lightweight and can be easily carried in any bag, kept in a home or car , and also as an addition to first aid kits or with an AED.
What problem are you solving?
According to the American Heart Association, 80 percent of Americans feel helpless during life or death situations with 92 percent of people dying even before reaching the hospital. Only one-third of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims receive CPR. Effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after cardiac arrest, can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival. Children as young as 9 years old can help save their friend or family member’s life when following CPR procedures correctly.
Funding or bootstrapped?
I have bootstrapped initially and received seed investment as well. I also am working with a local credit union that helps small businesses grow for a combined total of $75,000. I am currently looking for investors for continued growth due to new business ventures deals.
Our Revenue model consists of online sales via website, vendor events and trade shows, B2B sales with hospitality groups, hospitals for training purposes, travel/airline/automotive companies, school systems,restaurants, and first aid kit/AED manufacturers with future revenue streams of licensing agreements. The CPR LifeWrap’s objectives are to have consistent increases in sales annually by providing a dependable and viable product to the consumer.
How did you come up with this idea?
One day, in the backseat of my car one my toddlers started choking. I was certified in CPR, but with my child in danger, panic set in and I froze. Thankfully my spouse was there and saved our son. It was then I realized if this can happen to me it is happening to people everywhere. So I had a new purpose and a mission and a new mission to make The CPR LifeWrap available to everyone.
Who are your competitors and why do you stand out?
Our competitors are pneumatic-driven or battery-operated devices such as the Thumper ($19,000), the Lucas ($14,000), Zoll Pocket CPR ($129), CPR RsQ Assist ($89).The top advantages of the CPR LifeWrap is its affordable price, presenting a low barrier to market entry. Unlike most competitors, the CPR wraps are housed in a pouch to be displayed or carried on the person. The LifeWraps are easy to use for everyone.
What has been your biggest obstacle/challenge thus far?
Our biggest obstacle so far is the lack of investors willing to take a chance on a product (medical aid) company. Tech companies get investment during pre-launch phase and even during the concept phase. We currently have 5 large companies that are really close to closing deals with us with 2 of those companies drawing up contracts. We have product, we have consumer and company interest with great media exposure, we just need the right strategic partnership to make this a globally-known company.
How does the southeast weave into your story?
I am a home grown girl from Chattanooga and believe in giving back to the community. When the CPR LifeWrap become a globally recognized product, I want to tell my story to the world and let it be known I am from the Southeast where great inventors and businesses are born. I also plan to create jobs to help stimulate the economy. Big plans I know, but I dream big!
What are your next steps?
We plan on securing multiple partnerships and deals as well as close on the one we are currently working on. We are also working with R/D on my newest patent for the Animal CPR LifeWrap for cats and dogs! So, all you pet lovers can be pro-active when it comes to the canine family members.