How old were you when you started and where did your idea come from?
I was in 5th grade when I made the first Medi Teddy prototype and invented the product. In 6th grade I wrote the business plan, made a marketing video, and got a provisional patent with my parent's help. In 7th grade we started the process for a regular patent, and pitched my idea to a mentor of mine who gave me advice. In 8th grade we found a manufacturer, worked on 5 iterations of the prototype, and I launched my first plush product as well as applied for a Trademark and Copyright. This year in 9th grade I launched our plastic, more COVID-friendly design and we hired our first part time employee.
What was the biggest mistake you made and what did you learn from it?
One of our biggest challenges was going to market before we had an actual product in hand (we only had a prototype). We had a lot of demand, and no product, so we aren't sure if we lost customers at that point. Since then, the hardest part is sometimes getting stuck and not knowing what to do next, but that is where a good mentor or parent helper comes in!
What are your future plans for the business?
My goal is that a Medi Teddy will be part of every pediatric room set-up in every hospital in the world. We now know through some data we collected that Medi Teddy helps kids by reducing anxiety and even pain in 46% of users, so we know it's a product that makes a difference!
Any advice for other girls starting a business?
My advice is to act upon your ideas, and find a really good mentor to encourage you and help you when you get stuck. You also need someone who is able to manage things day to day while you are in school. For me, that's my mom.