Tennessee entrepreneur wins cash prize to support business growth
The Nashville Health Care Council partnered with the Nashville Entrepreneur Center to host an Inspiring Innovation Pitch Contest in recognition of the Council’s 25th anniversary. Five health care startups pitched their organizations and fielded questions from local Nashville CEOs and innovators. Felicia Jackson, inventor and founder of CPR Wrap, delivered an inspirational pitch that won both the judge’s choice and audience choice awards and earned the company a total of $21,000 in cash prizes.
CPR Wrap is a single-use CPR template that protects, guides and empowers nonmedical responders during respiratory and cardiac emergencies. Its translucent overlay guides users in performing CPR according to the American Heart Association’s four recommended steps with instructions available in any language, simple illustrations for hand placement, and a sanitary one-way mouthpiece to administer breathing techniques. Jackson devised the tool after her son experienced a life-threatening incident.
“In 2002, I almost lost my baby due to a choking incident. I was working in the medical field and CPR certified, but instead of doing what I was trained to do, I froze,” she said. “Thankfully my husband was there and saved our son, but it was then I realized if this could happen to me, it’s happening to people everywhere.”
According to the American Heart Association, more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States each year, and 240,000 of those happen at home.
“It has been proven that CPR provided immediately following a cardiac arrest could double or triple a person’s chance of survival. But 80% of Americans are reluctant to perform CPR due to lack of knowledge or fear of causing harm,” Jackson said.
Jackson competed against four other alumni from the Entrepreneur Center’s Project Healthcare, a program for high-potential startup organizations seeking to accelerate their growth. Those participants included:
Ryan Brebner of Advocatia Solutions, an organization that provides hospitals with solutions to assist their uninsured and underinsured patients;
Bill Tan of Canopy, a digital health company that helps health care providers tackle language barriers to communicate with underserved patients;
Austin Dirks of GreenLight Medical, a cloud-based platform that aligns supply chain leadership, physicians and vendors to make clinically- and financially-backed product decisions; and
Mitesh Rao, M.D., of OMNY, a data exchange platform that enables health systems and specialty networks to share their de-identified data sets with external parties.
Each participant shared a prerecorded pitch video and answered three minutes of questions from judges Jason Moore, CEO of Stratasan, Sandra Morgan, Senior Vice President of Provider Relations for HCA Healthcare, and Saurabh Sinha, CEO of emids. Brynn Plummer, Vice President of Inclusion and Community Relations for the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, moderated the contest.
“Choosing a winner out of this incredibly talented group of individuals was a challenging task,” said Morgan. “It is inspiring to see so much health care innovation on display and I couldn’t be more excited about the future of all five companies.”
In addition to the cash prize for the winner, the Council awarded each organization $1,000 and a complimentary one-year Council membership.
“25 years ago, Nashville’s health care leaders had the bold vision to establish Nashville as the nation’s health care capital. They founded the Council to do just that. This year on the Council’s anniversary, we recognize this organization for all it has done to foster Nashville’s entrepreneurial spirit and support the growth of its health care industry,” Council President Hayley Hovious said. “I can’t tell you how exciting it was to see everyone present today. These are amazing organizations and I would be remiss as the president of the Nashville Health Care Council not to tell each and every one of our entrepreneurs to please move to Nashville. We’d love to have you be part of our ecosystem long term.”
The Nashville Health Care Council will continue to recognize its 25th anniversary with timely virtual events and information about this year’s key initiatives. Register for the Council’s Nashville to the Nation: Scaling the Health Care Industry on September 23, 2020, at 11:00 a.m.