Founders in the Master of Business Creation (MBC) program at the David Eccles School of Business had the meeting of a lifetime during the Silicon Slopes Summit in Salt Lake City.
Abbie Kohler and Greg Fine, co-founders of ResusciTech, were selected to be one of only a handful of companies that got the opportunity to pitch their products to Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple and keynote speaker at the summit.
They learned about the opportunity from their MBC mentors a week earlier and rushed to prepare for the meeting.
During the meeting, they showed Cook their app for teaching people CPR, and afterward, Cook said he was impressed and highlighted their company during his opening remarks to the general audience at the summit.
“I think it deserves the name ‘Silicon Slopes’ to put it very crisply,” Cook said of Utah. “What I look for when I go to places is are there people who want to change the world, people that get up in the morning and think about their passion and work all day to try to get the job done, and this morning, or earlier today, I met with four developers, and I see that, I sense that. One was focused on teaching people CPR. They are called ResusciTech – maybe they are in the audience right now – a fabulous application of an app that focuses on making sure the depth and frequency are correct, so they are really trying to do something that really changes things, that helps people.”
The ResusiTech team was happy with the meeting and said it was everything they hoped and more.
“It went really well,” Kohler said. “It was more of a conversation than a pitch, which wasn’t what we were expecting. He is a very friendly person, so it was nice. His energy was very calming, so it wasn’t very nerve-racking. Greg demoed the app for him, and he was really engaged and asked a lot of questions.”
ResusciTech is a software company that aims to improve patient outcomes in emergency medicine. It does this by delivering a convenient and engaging CPR certification course. This course includes hands-on, guided chest compression practice, which can be completed with just a smartphone and couch cushion. The company plans to pursue FDA clearance so its CPR feedback technology can be used in real emergencies.
The startup is one of 18 companies in the MBC program during the 2021-22 academic year. All the companies are spending nine months in the award-winning program to grow their companies with support from mentors, grants, courses, each other, and more.
During the meeting with Cook, the ResusciTech founders described their company and product and showed him how it works. They said he was particularly interested their effort to secure FDA clearance.
Some of the questions Cook asked during the meeting covered topics including their business model, how they are growing sales to companies, and the future of the business.
“It was a pretty natural conversation,” Fine said. “He was asking pretty engaged questions, and it was interesting how quickly he caught on and understood how it worked and the business model around it.”
The ResusciTech team is unsure if they will meet with Cook again. But they are certain the meeting was a great opportunity to grow awareness for their company.
The Silicon Slopes Summit is one of the leading technology conferences in the country and the biggest one in Utah. It brings together leaders in technology, such as Cook and others like him, for a series of presentations and networking opportunities.
ResusciTech was one of just four companies with Utah ties that were invited to present their products to Cook during the summit. Others selected included Ancestry, Red Games Co., and Instructure. With just five employees, including Kohler and Fine, ResusciTech “was definitely the small fish,” Kohler said.
The startup will be spending the rest of the year in the MBC program improving their sales and marketing efforts, improving and adding to their product, and making the connections they will need to succeed. In just a few months in the program, they are already seeing results, they said.
“Our backgrounds are in engineering and product development, and the MBC program is helping us quickly get up to speed on sales and marketing,” Fine said.
Kohler added: “The MBC program will ensure that as we increase our revenues we will have a good foundation and we won’t be struggling as we grow.”
Kohler and Fine are both graduates of Brown University, where they both received undergraduate engineering degrees. They are participating in the MBC program virtually in a new expansion of the program that allows students to attend from around the world.
The MBC program is provided with support from the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, a top-10 ranked and interdisciplinary division of the David Eccles School of Business.
Learn more about Resuscitech at resuscitech.io. Learn more about the MBC program at eccles.utah.edu/mbc.
Watch more about the meeting with Tim Cook on KSL.com here.