A near tragedy gave birth to a great business idea: The CPR LifeWrap.
Felicia Jackson was driving with her husband and then two-year-old son, when her son suddenly stopped breathing and turned blue. He was choking to death on a piece of candy.
“We immediately got him out of the car,â€ recalls Jackson. Despite being CPR certified and working as a physical therapy assistant, Jackson froze. “I couldn’t react, as my son was dying. My husband took our son and dislodged the candy.â€
[Felicia Jackson, Founder/CEO, The CPR LifeWrap LLC. ]
That incident, frightening for any parent, caused Jackson to dream about a life saving invention. She sketched out her dream’s vision for the CPR LifeWrap, a relatively low-tech, yet promising tool to save those in cardiac arrest.
The CPR LifeWrap is a disposable CPR assistive device, which provides simple CPR instructions, embossed hand placements, and prevents the exchange of fluids while administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The device is a thin plastic overlay, which goes on top of a victim’s chest and face. However, it’s made from medical grade vinyl that can withstand CPR chest compression. Additionally, the overlay has CPR instruction and indicates proper hand placement while giving CPR.
The CPR LifeWrap is available in three sizes: infant, child, and adult. It is also compatible with Automated External Defibrillators (AED) and won’t interfere with AED machines.
Getting Off the Ground
The 44-year-old Chattanooga, TN resident initially bootstrapped the business. She pre-sold 300 wraps while enrolled in the CoLab Accelerator Program for startups.
She launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise capital. Eventually, she landed her first angel investor for $30,000, to start the manufacturing process. She is still on a mission to reach her $150,000 funding goal.
Jackson is fixed on making her startup a success. “Being a 44-year-old, African American, female, business owner is rough in my town,â€ she says. “I won’t let it stop my progress. In less than one year, we have partnered with two large hospitals, with several businesses around the U.S. wanting to help and purchase the LifeWraps.â€
For now, the CPR LifeWraps are being manufactured by RSP out of Milwaukee, with a tentative ship date of January or February.
“We have a website up and running with people and/or businesses able to pre-purchase these portable, affordable LifeWraps,â€ says Jackson.
View the video on CPR LifeWraps: