Numerous founders declare they launched their firm to assist folks, however Sam Tejada, founding father of Liquivida, a preventive well being firm identified for intravenous (IV) vitamin remedy, has made his profession serving to folks once they need assistance essentially the most.
Really, Tejada started serving to folks in misery earlier than he was even sufficiently old to have a profession. A local of Wisconsin, he began working as a lifeguard with the Milwaukee Public Faculty of Techniques at 14. His household moved to Florida throughout his senior yr in highschool and he quickly was working as a lifeguard for the Boca Raton YMCA. He turned a swimming teacher at age 17, working each as lifeguard and educating swimming classes. Generally he was a seashore lifeguard, which required doing ocean rescues.
“I used to be all the time into serving to folks,” Tejada mentioned. “After I graduated highschool, I knew precisely what I needed to do. I needed to enter the emergency medication world, if you’ll.”
Tejada determined being a firefighter would examine all of the bins for him. Firefighting is a gorgeous profession in Florida, the place all firefighters are cross-trained as paramedics. He was chosen for coaching quickly after he graduated highschool and began with the Metropolis of Oakland Park, Florida, Hearth Rescue Division when he’d simply turned 20.
That youthful begin bought him teased loads at union conferences throughout his first yr on the job. The opposite firefighters thought it was hilarious that he was too younger to have a beer with them.
Tejada didn’t thoughts that a lot.
“I bought one of the best of each worlds, to be a firefighter and a paramedic,” he mentioned.
A selected advantage of being a firefighter, apart from the nice beginning wage, complete medical advantages and stable pension, is the schedule. A firefighter works 24 hours, then is off for 48 hours.
Tejada launched his first facet gig when he was simply 19, whereas nonetheless coaching to turn into a firefighter and paramedic. He opened Rescue-101 to supply programs in CPR, first support, and lifeguard expertise for the American Crimson Cross in South Florida. Tejada later took a job on his days off with Cenogenics Company, a producer and marketer of diagnostic merchandise. At Cenogenics he labored with Dr. Robert Willix, a coronary heart surgeon and founding accomplice of the corporate. Willix was a pioneer in Age Administration Medication, which focuses totally on sustaining well being slightly than simply treating illness.
“Dr. Willix was one among my largest mentors, and he launched me to the world of purposeful medication,” Tejada mentioned. “Dr. Willix was a coronary heart surgeon who determined to maneuver his medical apply into prevention versus having to function. His purpose was to assist folks keep away from the necessity to get on the working desk.’’
Tejada realized loads from Willix, and made invaluable connections in the midst of working for Cenogenics.
“Dr. Willix was the physician for among the most excessive profile CEOs on this globe,” Tejada mentioned. “Each three months, for eight years, I’d go to the houses of those very high-end CEOs and really prosperous people, to attract their blood. I constructed some fairly cool connections. Just a few of them which are my enterprise mentors at the moment. I used to be very lucky to attach with them.”
After years of drawing blood for Cenogenics, studying from Dr. Willix, and making necessary future enterprise connections, Tejada at age 26 launched Liquivida.
Standardizing the product
Liquivida is greatest identified within the purposeful well being business for IV vitamin remedy. When Tejada launched the corporate, he combined the intravenous resolution for every affected person each time it was administered. He quickly realized that this bespoke method was a big barrier to the expansion of the corporate, and doubtlessly a critical legal responsibility.
“After I first bought it to the business we’d have about 20 to 30 totally different multi-dose vials and we must create this concoction,” he mentioned. “As I began rising the corporate, I requested myself, if that is one thing that we’re going to actually put nationwide, how will we shield what we’re doing? As a result of all it takes is one occasion. And yeah, we’re speaking about nutritional vitamins, minerals, amino acids, however you give a affected person an excessive amount of zinc, that may trigger irreversible listening to loss.”
As a paramedic,Tejada had administered life saving injections many instances beneath the stress of transporting a affected person to the emergency room, however he wasn’t anticipated to combine the medicines. The required medication wanted to maintain a affected person alive throughout transport had been pre-mixed and measured to scale back the opportunity of error as a lot as potential.
“Within the hearth service, we are saying every part must be fireman proof,” he mentioned. “When we’ve got a affected person in cardiac arrest and we’ve got to offer sure medicines, every part is pre-measured and pre-dosed. There are not any drug calculations. We’re simply actually taking it out of the package deal and it’s able to go.”
Tejada utilized the identical method to the Liquivida vitamin injection service, creating and producing commonplace packets for the Liquivida drip remedy. That innovation made the therapies inherently safer and extra predictable, whereas additionally making it a lot simpler for potential franchisees to start providing the service.
Liquivida goes large
Tejada saved his day job as a firefighter/paramedic for a number of years however finally Liquivida turned too large to run on a component time foundation. At age 32, Tejada took early retirement from the fireplace division – he was vested within the pension – to run Liquivida full time.
“I retired early as a result of Liquivida took off,’’ Tejada mentioned. “I began this firm with $500 in my again pocket. Quick ahead 9 years, this can be a multi-million greenback firm promoting franchises all through america. We’re promoting merchandise to over 4,000 docs additionally. It’s turn into very profitable, and I’m going to simply carry on pushing.”
Liquivida was one of many first corporations to supply infusion companies, however over time the business has grown rather more aggressive. “I used to be lucky to be one of many first out there, particularly on the I.V. diet facet,” Tejada mentioned. “However the business is getting very aggressive. You’re getting numerous these mother and pops, somewhat wellness. facilities clinics, these boutiques which are popping up, which will get difficult.”
Because the business grows, it’s more and more authorities regulated, which Tejada sees as usually for one of the best. He’s concerned in business efforts to barter a regulatory construction.
“I do have a powerful sense of compliance for this firm, and the general public within the business try to mannequin what we’ve got,” he mentioned. “What I like about that, it simply makes promoting franchises simpler when folks see the kind of compliance we’ve got in place.”
Peter Web page is the Contributions Editor at Grit Every day. Previously at Entrepreneur.com, he started his journalism profession as a newspaper reporter lengthy earlier than print journalism had even heard of the web, a lot much less realized it could demolish the business. The years he labored a police reporter are an enormous affect on his world view to today. Web page has some extent of experience in environmental coverage, the power financial system, ecosystem dynamics, the anthropology of city gangs, the workings of civil and legal courts, politics, the machinations of presidency, and the artwork of crystallizing thought in writing.