CPR Wrap CEO talks about what she learned at Techstars Start-Up Accelerator
CPR Wrap is a product born in Chattanooga created by a native Chattanoogan.
The idea started sixteen years ago on a car ride with her husband, daughters, and son
"I always have to look back and make sure everything is okay, and this one particular time when I did I noticed that he was choking," CPR Wrap founder and CEO Felicia Jackson said.
Jackson says her husband was able to pull the car over and give her son to her.
"I'm working in the hospital trained in CPR. I know what to do, but when I saw my baby I freaked out," Jackson said. "My mind and whatever it is that I was taught went out the window."
She says her husband took the baby and saved his life.
"From day one I was thinking what can I do for this not to happen again," Jackson said.
It took her several years to come up with the idea and develop CPR wrap.
"CPR wrap is a disposable CPR template that allows any non-medical person to provide CPR,"Jackson said. "We want to protect them, and we want to empower them and we want to give them something that will guide them to save a life."
On the wrap are step by step instructions for how to perform CPR. It's also designed to give protection to the person Performing CPR.
"It protects you from blood and fluid contaminants as well as drug residue," Felicia Jackson said.
Being the CEO is now Felicia's full time job.
"What I did was, and I do not tell people to do this, I quit my job before I even told my husband," Jackson said. "That was bad. That was bad business, but I knew I wanted to do this full time."
But the last three years have been challenging.
"I had to drain my 401 (k)," Jackson said. "Almost drained my husband's 401 (k)."
She has been through several entrepreneur accelerators and programs including Score Chattanooga, Launch, and CoLab.
"It was during one of those classes, one of those accelerator programs that I was in that I was tasked with can you sell? And I was able, you know, within a two week period. I sold over three hundred units, and it was like I'm onto something," Jackson said.
And she has kept selling.
She sells these to CPR training facilities and all kinds of businesses. You can also find it on Amazon.
And recently she went through another accelerator in Austin, Texas called Techstars in hopes of taking CPR wrap to a new level.
"I don't have a business degree," Felicia Jackson said. "I don't know a lot of that information, and they gave it to you. They make connections with prominent business owners that have had their companies acquired."
Those CEO's gave her advice on how to scale her business. They also connected her with potential investors.
"The same passion and drive that I had three years ago is still there," Jackson said. "Even with all the bumps and bruises that I've, you know, gotten along the way. I know I can't stop."
During Techstars and since Felicia has had the opportunity to pitch her product to dozens of potential investors.
She has also increased her sales almost doubling sales each month the last few months.
There were two other Chattanooga companies in that Techstars cohort, Pass it Down and Woorly.