A fortunate entrepreneur can start a company with only an idea. That’s how two guys from Philadelphia established a business that doesn’t require them to manufacture anything. The only thing they make is money.
The issue that inspired Jason Brown and his childhood friend David Waxman was the problem of carrying cash during a workout. Anyone who has gone for a jog or bike ride knows that wallets and loose cash are difficult to keep sweat-free. This complicates carrying the funds needed to stop for a protein bar or sports drink.
The solution devised by Brown and Waxman is Vitaband, a rubber wristband that has a contactless prepaid Visa debit chip. One swipe of the wrist near a wireless payment reader and a purchase is completed without having to fumble for sweat-soaked cash or a debit card tucked in running shorts. A Vitaband is preloaded with the user’s Bancorp debit account information. In addition, Vitaband bracelets connect to a data file with the wearer’s name and personal medical history. Carrying identification in case of an emergency is unnecessary. EMTs can call the toll-free number on a Vitaband and download information about their accident victim.
Brown and Waxman were not interested in creating a consumer products business to manufacture Vitaband bracelets. So, the entrepreneurs searched for a manufacturer that would license their product. They started the new company in 2007. Creating a prototype required several months. Over several years, they searched for a manufacturing partner before finally landing with Nathan Performance Gear.
Vitaband has raised a total of approximately $750,000 since the company was founded. Brown and Waxman contributed about $50,000 of their own money. They acquired other financial backing from friends, family, and angel investors.
As of 2012, Vitaband is sold in limited markets. But, Brown and Waxman are seeking to license their product to manufacturers for newly targeted customers. For example, the company is using its capital to develop Vitaband products for children and seniors. The company is also engaged in marketing efforts to health insurance companies as resellers of Vitaband bracelets. Expansion opportunities abound for the five-year-old company to reach new consumers.