What does it take to launch a high tech medical apparel company? An idea, a lot of work, and even more dedication. We sat down with our founders to discuss how they came together to launch an innovative new medical apparel technology and what it’s like running a startup.
An Idea Founded on “Doing Good”
Prime Medical Apparel started in Largo, Florida, back in April 2014 when Wayne Wilson first took the idea to Bryan Tye. Wayne’s background in manufacturing meant that he always had his eye on the industry and happened upon the BioSmart® technology from Milliken. Both decided that change was needed in the medical apparel industry and this product could be the catalyst. Thanks to Bryan’s connection to Sanjay Patel, the partnership expanded and the three founders haven’t looked back.
“The best part is knowing I started something that is going to make a big contribution in stopping the spread of deadly bacteria in our healthcare system both domestically and off shore,” explains Wayne.
That focus on creating change in medical apparel is what fuels their business on a daily basis. Healthcare associated infections (HAIs) cost billions of dollars in additional healthcare costs and kills more people than AIDs, breast cancer and automobile accidents combined. Saf-T-Scrubs germ-fighting technology works to fight bacteria on contact, a feature of the patented technology by Milliken & Co. BioSmart® wraps itself around fibers and binds to EPA-registered chlorine to kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria, effective up to 75 washes. Their hope is that their product will create a significant reduction in the number of HAIs for years to come.
All three agree that not only are they providing a quality product to the marketplace, they are creating a strong company driven to “do good”. Their vision has already been realized with their donation of hundreds of scrubs to CURE International. In fact, it’s something they feel so strongly about, they will continue to maintain a budget line item specifically for their charitable giving.
A Well-Oiled Machine
Each of their unique skills fortifies the company, much like the seams in their products. Wayne’s 45 years of manufacturing experience and relationships has been a big factor in getting their product to market and has lead them to a U.S.-based manufacturer: Industries of the Blind located in Greensboro, North Carolina. Bryan and Sanjay both shine with their technology and business expertise.
While they all have their own individual skillset, the three work closely together managing the day to day activities involved in running a startup - which is very different from a typical office job - as Sanjay has shared, “There is no typical day. Regardless of the official titles we have emblazoned on our chests, I can skate between a conversation about future products and strategy to getting deep into an Excel spreadsheet, to phone calls with independent test labs.”
It’s a sentiment Bryan echoes, “Every day is different and brings new opportunity and directions. It takes a lot of focus when starting out to keep the eyes on the ball.”
All of that focus means it’s even more important to find time to unplug and recharge, helping them to keep up with the frenetic pace of their company.
In his free time, Wayne can be found on the golf course or fishing along the Jersey shore while visiting his family in the Northeast. Running a startup means sleepless nights and plenty of travel, but Bryan still finds time to relax at home with his family and dogs. Biking, travel and spending time with family is important to Sanjay.
The formula is working. In just over a year, more new products have joined the scrubs lineup, including lab coats, patient gowns, curtains, surgical caps and face masks. An ambassador program has provided them with valuable feedback to improve the scrubs, already leading to changes such as additional pockets.
And, they’re just getting started, says Sanjay, “Beyond the core soft surface products, we are developing other services which are geared toward full lifecycle management of surfaces in health care.”
To learn more about Prime Medical Apparel, visit our web site.