Even for founders building life-saving consumer goods, COVID took its toll.
Felicia Jackson, the founder of Tennessee-based CPR Wrap, had to make the difficult decision to downsize her already small team during the pandemic. But she remained focused on getting her single-use CPR tool out to more people.
“At the end of the day, I don’t want to be looked at as an entrepreneur with rose-colored glasses, where I think everybody will buy CPRWrap,” Jackson told Hypepotamus. “Even though CPR Wrap is a product that could fit within any industry as a value add, I knew I had to find my target market.”
Jackson experienced the perils of forgetting CPR training in a moment of crisis with her own son. For her, providing the public lifesaving tools has become her life’s calling. “Sudden cardiac arrest, or anything medical related, doesn’t have a season. Things are going to happen, whether we expect it to or not. And my goal is to empower people to be ready.” For Jackson, that target market is the non-medical community like new moms, caregivers, and babysitters, who might need assistance from a step-by-step guide for administering CPR.
Patents & Pitches
When Hypepotamus talked to Jackson in March of 2021, she said she spent part of the last year finding a new manufacturing company that allowed her to bring down prices and ultimately sell in bulk. She’s also been busy securing patents and going through various pitch competitions.
While navigating CPR Wrap through 2020, Jackson credits her previous relationships with Launch Chattanooga, CO.LAB, and Techstars for getting her in front of both Mr. Wonderful and the NFL.
Jackson won Nashville Entrepreneur Center’s virtual pitch competition earlier this year. The win comes with a year-long partnership with the Tennessee Titans, which will include media, promotion, and hospitality help.
The Titans sponsorship, Jackson said, will give her much-needed access to customers and larger marketing tools.
Jackson also unanimously won “Crowd Favorite” at the 2020 TechCrunch Startup Alley pitch event with Kevin O’Leary.
Outside of funding, Jackson also has been able to finalize CPR Wrap’s utility patent. Jackson said the patent process was three years in the making. “I didn’t have the money. I didn’t have the funding to hire an attorney in the beginning,” Jackson said. “And I didn’t know anything about putting a patent together. So I did all the due diligence myself, I read as many books as I could, I went on the internet, I talked to other companies that had acquired their own patents, and I did it myself for the provisional patent.”
Jackson said she is currently looking to close a $1 million seed round, which she said will be used to rebuild her team.