Ep. #1116 - Creating Pill-Free Pain Relief
In today’s episode of Startup Hustle, let’s talk about creating pill-free pain relief. Matt DeCoursey is joined by Jordan Schindler, CEO & Founder of Nufabrx, for an insightful conversation. The founders talk about Healthware, Hall of Pain, and the uphill battle of launching a new niche.
Covered In This Episode
Jordan discovered that clothing is a good platform to deliver medicine. So he created Nufabrx and introduced a new market category in the healthcare industry.
Listen to how he started the company, his challenges, and other processes he underwent. Matt and our guest also discussed the importance of being aware of your team’s needs and other vital entrepreneurial advice.
Don’t miss out on the latest healthcare trend. Tune in to this Startup Hustle episode today.
- How to use clothing as a platform for delivery of medicine (02:03)
- Starting Nufabrix and testing it (03:22)
- Healthware: an intersection of pharmaceuticals and apparel (08:25)
- Failure of Silicon Valley Banks and the pain of raising capital (09:57)
- Democcation, adaptation process, and the Hall of Pain (14:35)
- What is the hardest part of the process? (18:13)
- What does the FDA process look like? (21:02)
- Nufabrix’s value proposition to the marketplace (22:30)
- The supply chain and North Carolina (25:05)
- Jordan’s advice to entrepreneurs (33:09)
- Where to find Jordan and Nufabrix (43:57)
We’re all busy forgetting to take pills or using creams or patches. It’s sticky, it’s messy, and it’s gooey. But we all get dressed. Clothing contacts our skin all day, every day. It’s a perfect platform for simplifying health and wellness outcomes.– Jordan Schindler
Nothing will expose you to the candor of humans more than pitch meetings.– Matt DeCoursey
It doesn’t feel like work. It feels like I’m having fun, getting to work with great people, and getting to build something. And I think having that personal connection has been really valuable.– Jordan Schindler
Create a stress-free environment for your software development project. Ensure you work with world-class quality developers, testers, and leaders at Full Scale. With their skills and experience, your project will surely progress in the right direction. Moreover, Full Scale has a platform to help with recruitment; team management is also made easier.
Not looking for software developers? Discover what our Startup Hustle partners can do to support your business.
Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Matt DeCoursey 00:01
And we’re back! Back for another episode of Startup Hustle. Matt DeCoursey here to have another conversation I’m hoping helps your business grow. Alright, so pain is a real thing. A lot has gone through it, whether minor or big, or there are many varieties. And pain pills have created a whole lot of problems for a whole lot of people. That’s a whole nother topic that I won’t get into. We might get into a little bit today, but it’s not my favorite topic because many people are in pain because of the pain pills I take. So we’re gonna talk about creating a pain pill for pain relief. I have an expert, CEO, and startup founder with me today to discuss that. Before I introduce him, today’s episode of Startup Hustle is powered by FullScale.io. Hiring software developers is difficult. Full Scale can help you build a software team quickly and affordably and has the platform to help you manage that team. Visit FullScale.io to learn more. With me today, I have Jordan Schindler, and Jordan is the CEO and founder of Nufabrx. You can learn more about them when you scroll down to the show notes. By that FullScale.io leg, there is a Nufabrx link that is N-U-F-A. You know what? Just scroll down. It’s much easier to click it than to type it into the browser. Straight out of Charlotte, North Carolina, Jordan, welcome to Startup Hustle.
Jordan Schindler 01:23
Matt, a pleasure to be here. It should be a fun conversation.
Matt DeCoursey 01:26
Yeah, man. Well, let’s get that started with a little bit about your backstory.
Jordan Schindler 01:31
Yeah, let’s do it. So I’ll take you back to college in Seattle at the University of Washington. And like a lot of college-aged males, I suffered from bad skin and learned about the link between your pillowcase in that skin. And so, as you sleep, dirt and oil build-up, clogging your pores. I ultimately went to the dermatologist. I was recommended to wash my pillowcase two to three times a week, which, as you can imagine, as a college-aged male, was never going to happen. And that’s what got me thinking about: how do you create a benefit from a garment or fabric or something that contacts your skin all day, every day? Why can’t you use clothing as a platform for the delivery of medicine? And so that’s where the foundation for Nufabrx came from. Ultimately, we put medicine into clothing.
Matt DeCoursey 02:21
Interesting. I got to say, of the hundreds and hundreds of episodes that I’ve recorded this show, that’s a new one. Now, that’s obviously a pretty big undertaking. Where do you get started with all that?
Jordan Schindler 02:35
Yeah, definitely more undertaking than I had certainly thought 10 years ago.
Matt DeCoursey 02:38
When I usually . . .
Jordan Schindler 02:42
So first things first. I mean, we just looked at what technology existed on the market. And so we actually took our trip out to Guangzhou in China, where a lot of textile products were produced, and ultimately could never find a technology that could deliver a controlled dose of medicine through wash cycles. And so we really spent a couple years trying to see what existed on the market and then truly took a step back and said, Hey, there’s an opportunity here to create our own technology. And so we’ve created a technology that allows us to deliver a controlled dose of medicine. So vitamin supplements and medications through your clothing. And that’s effective through numerous wash cycles. So as you alluded to, it might be a pain reliever, a topical analgesic, a sock, a t-shirt, or a back brace, but it might also be melatonin and a pillowcase to help you fall asleep at night or antifungal for an athlete’s foot sock. And ultimately, what we’re solving for is patient compliance. Or we’re all busy forgetting to take pills or use creams or patches. It’s sticky, it’s messy, it’s gooey, but we all get dressed, and the right clothing contacts our skin all day, every day. It’s a perfect platform for simplifying health and wellness outcomes. And in this Healthware category, we find.
Matt DeCoursey 03:58
So you guys have the restricted trademark on Healthware. For all one word. Now, yeah. So and this is like, you know, Jordan, this feels like really, I get the idea of administering meds through the fabric. But, you know, I’m not gonna pretend to be Bill Nye the Science Guy here. Right. But I do know that a lot of I know what a half-life is. And yeah, that’s just kind of that’s about as far as I’m gonna delve into this. But, you know, I know that a lot of different medicines, drugs, whatever it is, have these different half-lives, and some of them are water-soluble, and some aren’t. And like, I mean, this seems like one of those things you’re like, Oh, sure. We could probably administer it. And like you mentioned 10 years ago. It was a much bigger undertaking. I mean, did you go ahead? Did you just get, like, one thing? Do you start with, like, the simplest thing, as you mentioned, melatonin? I give it to my kids so they’re not hyper at 11pm. I’m still trying to get him to go to bed. I have a hard enough time administering that and like something that tastes like candy, but like, what’s that? What’s that? What’s the starting point with us? And how do you even go about testing?
Jordan Schindler 05:13
Yeah, I mean, I think that’s a great question. And we look at what is the low-hanging fruit, right? Where is patient compliance super low. It’s things like acne, eczema, psoriasis, and Athlete’s Foot, where you have to take something, reapply it multiple times a day, it’s sticky, it’s messy. And ultimately, where we start is what’s the lowest hanging fruit of things that are inherently safe, where patient compliance is very low. And so we actually started with a pillowcase application. So just all my personal needs, and why can’t you put a teacher or lavender in a pillowcase? And then we went from there to pain relief. Everyone suffers from pain, why can’t you put pain meds in a sock. And that’s really been our biggest entry into the marketplace and started at Walmart. I mean, Walmart was literally our first commercial customer nationwide. And so it’s been an interesting evolution. But as you alluded to, right, it’s, it’s hard to put medicine with all the complexities thereof consistent release safety, consumer acceptance, but then you have to marry that with all the textile side of it has to be comfortable, it has to stretch, it has to walk away moisture, it has to be machine washable. And this intersection has taken a lot of time. And we really had to rethink this entire supply chain to actually manufacture healthcare products.
Matt DeCoursey 06:33
So you know, I’ve seen things like, and I don’t know if this is within what you do like I’ve got, alright, so as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that, okay, I hurt myself getting out of bed this year, you know, welcome to aging. And I’ve tried some different things because I’ve had a little joy. So I’m a big guy, right? I’m six, four weigh 250 pounds. And over time, that puts a lot of stress, stress, and pressure on the joints in your body. And I’ve tried, like, like, I had elbow tendinitis a few years ago. I got an arm sleeve that had copper in it. Yeah. All weird things. And it actually worked and helped. And I mean, it’s like, is that different from what you guys are doing? Because that’s just like material and certain things like, I don’t know, it definitely helped. It was weird.
Jordan Schindler 07:24
Yeah, and compression certainly helps right in terms of creating circulation. But think about that copper.
Matt DeCoursey 07:31
compression wants didn’t fix it. Because I had tried that. And someone actually suggested copper. It was like I don’t know, dude, it was like infused in the actual material. There’s something about the cop. Maybe I don’t know. Maybe it was just better compression.
Jordan Schindler 07:45
Yeah, I mean, so think about that, right? It’s like an outward-facing benefit, where there’s an antimicrobial, there’s a circulation component, but you don’t actually want a dose of copper delivered to the body. Right? It would be the same as if you ate a penny, right? In our case, think about this as a delivery system. So ultimately, I can tell you exactly how many milligrams are delivered every hour as you’re wearing the garment, and deliver the same dose as icy hot or Biofreeze, or whatever topical product it is. And that’s really what sets us apart. We are a more convenient way to get medicine versus, let’s say, a topical additive to an apparel garment. And that’s really where we play, right. It’s this intersection between a Nike sock with icy hot and a Lululemon garment with less moisturizer, and we are that delivery vehicle. And that’s where we spend a lot of our time, right, and someone like a big apparel company is looking for differentiation. They’d love to sell into a pharmacy, and someone like a big pharmaceutical brand would love to sell sporting goods, and there are multi-billion dollars of opportunity at that intersection. And that’s where we tend to play in terms of our partnership approach.
Matt DeCoursey 08:55
When what category does fabrics depend on which investor.
Jordan Schindler 08:59
You ask, on what day? Yeah, I mean, so we crossed sort of pharmaceuticals, biotech, apparel, drug delivery, but I think of us as the intersection of pharmaceuticals and apparel. Yeah, it’s that new Healthware category between those?
Matt DeCoursey 09:17
Well, I’m asking that because I’m looking at my notes, and it says that in 2021, you guys raised $10 million in the series from different loving investors. And I know that well. We’ve, you know, talked so much on this show about raising capital. And, you know, for some categories, it’s difficult. And you know, we just went through this and you know, and by the time this comes out, we will have hopefully all lived past the pain and trauma of Silicon Valley Banks, failure, and all that other stuff. But I know that the world of venture capital can be very difficult to navigate for a lot of different types. Over the last 20 years, the enterprise software component has dominated so much of that investment. And I just know that I say that because I own it. I’m actually the founder and CEO of Full Scale. And we were a tech services company. And then we were tech-enabled services all of a sudden, we have a software platform, and everyone wants to invest in us. But before that, no one would even talk to us. Like, how tricky was that to navigate? Yeah.
Jordan Schindler 10:23
I’d love to hear about some of your experiences as well. And then the cavalry side, I’m sure you’ve got some horror stories.
Matt DeCoursey 10:28
I’ve never raised any. We’ve self-funded everything. And you know, a lot of that’s because there is this kind of this frustration that can come with some of that, because, you know, much like going, you know, people, a dozen senators always complain about banks, because they’re like, when I needed a loan, no one would give me one. And when I don’t need one, everyone will give me one. Well, it’s the same thing with raising capital.
Jordan Schindler 10:51
And don’t get me started on Silicon Valley Bank. We did all of our banking there.
Matt DeCoursey 10:58
So I was hoping you guys resolved well enough.
Jordan Schindler 11:01
All’s well. That ends well there, but not without a little bit of heartburn. So I think I think you’re spot on, right? I mean, so we’ve been raised from a wide variety of sources. I grew up on the West Coast. And so that’s where we tended to raise most of our capital. So starting with early friends and family, we actually got some grant capital out of the Department of Defense. There are some interesting military applications here in terms of a soldier, hiking 40 or 50 miles a day doesn’t want to carry extra weight or extra medicine and certainly not going to stop in the middle of Battlefield and rub a cream on their foot. pain reliever on a uniform stimulant, keep soldiers away from what what have you, and live the sort of ramen startup diet for a couple years in college of do whatever you can, and then ultimately, moved out to the Carolinas to be in the heart of textiles, advanced materials, most US made garments or are made here in the Carolinas. And then we were fortunate to find people that really connected with the business more than anything else. I think Textiles is another one of those categories where people are like, I’m investing in textiles. We still make textiles in the US like that’s the comment that we get. Right. And I think we’re fortunate that we’re able to pivot that a little bit. No, no, we’re a biotech company. No, no, we do drug delivery. And so you have Research Triangle Park RTP here. But like you alluded to in North Carolina, here is fintech. Right? It’s banking, it’s finance. It’s not biotech apparel, Elon, oh, we’re talking about. So not without its challenges for sure.
Matt DeCoursey 12:36
Yeah. So what were some of the common? I mean, did you hear that? Like we don’t do textile companies? Was that just like, I mean, it’s, I find that it’s amazing. Nothing will expose you to the candor of humans more than pitch meetings. On many days, I’m not sure whether, even here in Kansas City where people are known as quote, Midwest, nice, it’s still can still be pretty brutal.
Jordan Schindler 13:02
Oh, yeah. I mean, I think it’s the gamut, right? We don’t do textiles. We don’t do platform technologies. Not enough revenue burning too much cash. We don’t understand the hybrid retail versus partnership model. I mean, I think there are so many use cases, where we didn’t neatly fit into a box, right? I don’t know if this should go to my apparel, smart materials guy, or if it should go to my biotech guy. I mean, I think at the end of the day, what’s gonna make us successful is because you’re creating this new category which venture harps on? Right? They love new ideas, new new categories, but then they see us and they see other innovative companies. Oh, no, no, that’s a little too far outside of the box, right? We don’t really know where to put that and make some of it unintentional. But every company has a model for evaluating deals, and if they don’t know which partner to put it on, it doesn’t really go anywhere.
Matt DeCoursey 13:55
Yeah, well, you know, one of the things that is just a fact. And it’s, you know, talked to a lot of people about this, you know, a lot of the funds are, they’re just charter bound, you know, they raise $25 million. And they’re, and the people that put that $25 million, and are told that these funds will be used to invest in X, Y, or Z and they just can’t get around it. I mean, it’s like, I did run into that a few times. You know, people say, Now, I love you, love your business. This is great. I can’t. We can’t write a check. We’re not allowed to. So what are you gonna do? Alright, so here you are with something, you know, and that’s the thing, anything, anytime you have something new and different, there’s this adoption period that it goes through. And, you know, like, I’ll turn the Wayback Machine way, way back to 1213 years ago, the first time I ever stepped in an Uber. You know, I was like, Oh, this is interesting. And it was like this whole adoption process that went through before it kind of came that became the norm. I’ve even invented a word when it comes to companies that are trying to push this. I use the word demo. You need to demonstrate and educate what it is that you’ve built along the way. Like, how much of that? How much of that and just general? Because, I mean, honestly, if I was sitting there going, Oh man, I need to get you mentioned Biofreeze or icy hot or something. I don’t ever think oh man, there’s a sleeve or a shirt or something that would put that in. What are you guys doing to overcome that? Or work around it? Or just make it faster?
Jordan Schindler 15:26
For sure. And I love that example. Right, that over example, one of my favorite books is play bigger, right about category creation. And I think the nail on the head right, like, didn’t know you had a problem with taxis until Uber told you right?
Matt DeCoursey 15:37
But would you invest in a cab company right now? Because I wouldn’t know. Definitely unless I knew that they were hooked into Uber.
Jordan Schindler 15:46
Yeah, exactly. Right. And I think we have something similar there. Right? No one to your point is going to the store looking for drug infused garments, because they don’t know it exists, right? When they try it, they choose it every time because it’s a much better solution. Right? If you think about twisting my ankle, I’m gonna go to the store, I’m probably gonna buy a brace and a tube of pain cream, and use the two things in parallel. And that’s what the retail buyer at Walmart said, right? Two minutes, he goes, I get it. There’s a huge correlation between people buying braces and pain creams, you put the two together, it makes perfect sense. And so initially, right not having a massive marketing budget, we tried to price this at a price point that would win market share cheaper, or the same as that solution. So if you buy our products in the pharmacy, it’s the exact same price point as a brace, if not cheaper, plus, you get medicine, I mean, our products are 9099. And people think they’re usually way more expensive than that. But we intentionally wanted to keep it accessible to the market. Because once people try it, we think they’re going to understand the concept a little more. And then we also tried to do outside the box marketing programs, right, we did a minor league baseball partnership called the Hall of pain, where a player gets hit by a pitch and then they’re inducted into the Hall of Pain. And we give product to an audience, right, their knee sleeve got hit or their knee will give them a nice ride or their ankle or their net, correlating to all of our different product categories. So I think, like a lot of entrepreneurship, just how guerrilla can you be outside the box to create awareness is really part of the name of the game for us. And we also as we continue to grow, right, we did a small TV spot. So I’m connected to TV and Hulu, Roku and just educate consumers. But that’s really where a lot of what we do goes towards is, how do you tell people about what we do?
Matt DeCoursey 17:33
The Hall of pain would be a good entrepreneur club, too. We invented one that we called tears and bears, which was completely fictional. But in our heads, we could go there and cry, or just get drunk or get drunk and cry. And there was, you know, no judgment or shame there. Because as a CEO, and a founder, you get to go through some of that. Alright, so you guys have been out this for a while, what’s been the hardest part of all of this so far as where to start?
Jordan Schindler 18:00
So someone told me the other day that like, wow, you’re an overnight success. 10 years in the making? Oh, God, like, yeah.
Matt DeCoursey 18:10
You’re so lucky. So lucky when I worked 97 hours last week? Yeah.
Jordan Schindler 18:18
I think it’s this intersection between two different industries that have a lot of compliance issues. I use the analogy of a bottle of aspirin. Like if you go to the store, and that bottle of aspirin is supposed to have 100 pills, and shows up at 97. Like, you got a massive problem, right? The FDA will shut you down in a second. But if you go to the store, and you buy a t-shirt, and have a little bit of loose white or black thread, nobody cares. And it’s really that intersection of supply chain manufacturing that we’ve had to rethink entirely, how do you actually make a garment, put medicine in it, and have that compliance all the way through the process. And so all of our products are registered with the FDA, you actually see the Drug Facts label on the back of them. But traditional Textiles are not set up for that. And so we’ve spent a lot of time here in North Carolina. Actually, that’s where I’m sitting today, right at one of our manufacturers. How do you actually manufacture products and do it consistently and like so all of our products have expiration days, and shelf life, and you could actually track it back to which machine it came from which Lot number all the things you have to do with drugs, but you do not have to do with apparel. And getting that right took a lot of time and a lot of learning and category doesn’t exist. So a lot of this is just learning as you go, which has not been easy.
Matt DeCoursey 19:36
Yeah, you talked about the expertise needed to do a whole lot of stuff. And with that, I want to remind people that finding an expert software developer doesn’t have to be difficult, especially when you visit FullScale.io where you can build a software team quickly and affordably. Use the Full Scale platform to define your technical needs and see what available developers, testers, and leaders are ready to join your team visit FullScale.io To learn One more there is a link for that in the show notes as well as a link for Nufabrx. Go check it out. You guys got a great site. There’s a lot of stuff on there. I noticed you smiling there. You saw what I did with that ad read.
Jordan Schindler 20:11
Oh, I love the plug in the intersection. I was about to go into the Nufabrx intersection next time you get hurt to get dressed in the morning. Think about what medicine you want for your clothing.
Matt DeCoursey 20:22
Yeah, that’s, you know, that’s an interesting thing. Like I said this, I’m not going to, I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on any of this stuff. Because I don’t have any background other than buying shoes and clothing, which I’m good at. I don’t I don’t have a whole lot of expertise at this, including like that the FDA process? And is that something you have to go through as well? Do you have to get approval and everything that administers all of it? And what does that look like? If yes, yeah, so all of our products are registered with the FDA, our head of regulatory actually came out of the prescription drug industry working on hydrocodone tablets.
Jordan Schindler 20:53
I mean, it’s that level of rigor. So all of our drug products are under the monograph for topical analgesia. And as you see, right, similar to Biofreeze, or icy hot, you actually have a warning label Drug Facts, label NDC code on the back of all the products. So it’s definitely been an evolution and learning and you gotta hire that expertise, right? I’m not a regulatory guy. So you have to bring on the right people to surround you in order to be able to execute against that. And at the end of the day, right, there’s no person out there that’s making drug delivery clothing, right. So it’s not like there’s this neat little box. And so you have to err on the side of caution every time right, let’s do the most stringent and the most regulated version of how we analyze the rules in order to be successful here.
Matt DeCoursey 21:50
You know, we’ve mentioned a couple of things you’ve mentioned, the Biofreeze, icy hot, or the baseball like as partnerships and that form of like distribution. And I mean, that’s got to be I’m assuming that’s probably a pretty big part of what you guys have planned in the future.
Jordan Schindler 22:07
Oh, for sure that that’s where we’re headed, right? We are platform technology. So GoreTex coincides. So big pharmaceutical companies come to us and they say, hey, we’d like to deliver XYZ Lamisil, right, or, or Tiger Balm in a garment. And for them, it’s just incremental market share, right, they’ve already developed the drug. Now, if they can sell it in the brace category of the store, or in a Dick’s Sporting Goods, it’s additional incremental revenue. And so then you have a Nufabrx garment powered by XYZ drug. Right. And, and on the flip side, you also have the apparel side. So all of apparel is looking for differentiation in the market. Most of these garments are made on very similar knitting machines, right? And they’re all looking for different form factors recovery sleeve antifungal, right, what’s next? And we can offer that as a drug delivery system. So we are not taking or inventing new drugs. We’re just taking known therapeutic ingredients and delivering them more conveniently through a garment form factor. And that’s really at the end of the day, what our value proposition is into the marketplace. And so we have some very interesting partner conversations that come up all the time.
Matt DeCoursey 23:20
Yeah, that’s sort of in that particular case, do you just license what you do? Or do you then take their set? Like, did they take over making it? Or do you still make it or depends on the brand, so we are taking it off if we actually make what we call the active yarn.
Jordan Schindler 23:30
So how do you actually add ingredients to yarn, and then that yarn can be knit into whatever garment, I don’t know if you ever seen a knitting machine, but it’s actually super cool. I mean, if you plug in a USB device, this machine spins around in two minutes, shoots out a pair of socks, and then like pictures on a screen, you can pinpoint where each yarn goes in that garment. And so in the case of yarn, you might only want pain relief in the ankle or in the toes. And it’s only 5% of that given garment. And so our yarn can then be turned into socks, T-shirts, leggings, yoga pants, what have you. And so we can partner with other contract manufacturing partners in the supply chain to make physical products. So in some cases, a partner wants us to hand them a turnkey finished product with their brand on it. In other cases, they want that to flow through their supply chain, and we can certainly do both.
Matt DeCoursey 24:25
Speaking of the supply chain, you know, that’s been such a sticky thing for so many people over the last few years is that did you have to climb over some obstacles without?
Jordan Schindler 24:36
I think we’ve been fortunate in that our entire supply chain is within an hour of where I’m sitting here in North Carolina. So that’s raw materials, manufacturers expertise. And we’ve actually won a lot of market share because of that, where a lot of these places are coming from overseas. Sort of through pandemic through supply chain logistic issues. We weren’t having to sit at a port waiting for the goods to arrive. And so, Walmart, Target CVS picked up the phone and they called us and we haven’t missed a shipment yet, because we can drive down the street to our supplier and get what we need. And so that we’ve actually been very fortunate. And it’s been one of the things that’s allowed us to innovate and pivot and react really quickly, because our entire supply chain is quite close by.
Matt DeCoursey 25:19
Yeah, you know, for those of you listening that didn’t know, I spent several years in North Carolina Wilmington to be exact, which is not particularly close to Charlotte, because it’s in the same state of North Carolina is huge. People don’t realize how big that state is, man. It’s got a lot. It’s got beaches, it’s got oceans, it’s got mountains, it’s got a lot of continent tobacco fields. And that’s where that textile history comes from. I mentioned the tobacco side of it. And then also, you’ve got, I would imagine, it’s probably not a bad thing for you. Because what they do is they call it the Research Triangle. Is that it? That’s what you do.
Jordan Schindler 26:00
Yeah, you have, do you have UNC? And then you have NC State, which is actually the top textile school in the country.
Matt DeCoursey 26:06
Right? And that’s like a little triangle. That’s, that’s it? I mean, those are all within a couple hours of each other. Oh, yeah. Within probably half an hour. Super close. And so does that play in? Well, to what you guys are done? Oh, absolutely.
Jordan Schindler 26:19
Right. I mean, there’s a capital resource. There’s more, you know, how resource there’s access to equipment. We do a lot of work with all three of those facilities in terms of testing validation, new ideas, it’s all been very beneficial.
Matt DeCoursey 26:34
Yeah, it’s, uh, you know, so here in Kansas City, the one of the things so we we’ve got the Animal Health Corridor, which is, you know, I mean, dude, we’re in Kansas, man, there’s, you know, hey, look, there’s livestock everywhere. But there’s a whole lot of it out here. And there’s just one thing I’ve learned with this show, because, you know, whether we’re doing cities, top startups, or just kind of general episodes like this, that, you know, there really is a level of expertise and things that gravitate to different cities. And that you know, like, so we have a lot of a lot of agriculture, ag tech, there’s a lot of here, there’s a lot of supply chain stuff, because being right in the middle of the country is a good place to distribute things from so we run it, you know, there’s a lot, a lot of stuff like that. And then there’s also a lot of vehicle tech here. And some of that was actually started by my co hosts on the show my business partner at Full Scale, because he’s the founder of a company called den solutions, which is purchased by auto trader and does a lot of, you know, all these things spring out those things have babies, and it’s amazing the culture that comes in. So, you know, for those of you that are thinking about starting a business or launching something, or, or are maybe wondering if you’re in the right place for what you’re currently doing, there are these pockets of stuff that go on there. What else is North Carolina doing? That’s I know, I know, tobacco is not super popular with a lot of people. But that’s been a big one in the past. So you got the research, furniture, furniture, yes, furniture is huge.
Jordan Schindler 28:08
And I mean, you think I just saw North Korea is always in the top two or three most business friendly states. And you get a lot of people that moved here, especially through COVID, good weather, relatively low cost of living, various business climates, and North Carolina’s is growing significantly. And I agree with you, right. I’d be curious how you got to Kansas City, but their death was born en masse where I’m from, and yeah, I’ve lived all over the country.
Matt DeCoursey 28:33
And you know, I got to experience a lot of things to have 300 employees in the Philippines. So I’ve definitely gotten out of KC, but yeah, there’s, yeah, it’s interesting. What brings people I moved to North Carolina, to get back together with who is now my ex wife. So there you go.
Jordan Schindler 28:58
So sorry. And the first of two wives that I’ve had named Jill.
Matt DeCoursey 28:59
Yeah, I’ve been married twice, both to women named gel. So that’s easy to keep straight. But it was interesting. And there was a lot of stuff going on there.
Jordan Schindler 29:12
So that’s why I came out here, obviously not for Jill.
Matt DeCoursey 29:18
But that would be a wild twist of fate if you had I come out here because of that ecosystem, right?
Jordan Schindler 29:23
It’s all about textiles. And there’s no other place really in the country that has that same no out and skill set. So I didn’t have any ties here other than this is where I felt like the right spot to build the business. I relocated myself and the team out here and definitely made the right move. No doubt about it.
Matt DeCoursey 29:42
You talked about weird, weird, interesting things. So I went from North Carolina and I moved to Indianapolis where I spent several years. It’s actually where I met the second gel. Okay, but the house that I lived in, which ended up I wrote I wrote a book called Million Dollar bedroom because we started a business and that extra bedroom or the home several years later, I got a LinkedIn message from from the lady that moved in to that house and she said, I just put this together but I’ve been listening to your podcast for about a year. And I get your old mail sometimes and I was like oh shit this might be the same guy so that house that the million dollar bedroom book was about ended up with another lady that has a startup she ended up being a guest on the show. Yeah, yeah, they did. It’s weird the way the world is, but there are these weird gravity effects. I don’t know if that had anything to do with what brought her to the house. But it was pretty interesting. True Crime startup, it was a platform for internet sleuths.
Jordan Schindler 30:49
hey, our team I feel like has its own thread on like true crime podcasts and TV shows, they probably get a kick out of that.
Matt DeCoursey 30:57
The true crime. That’s the big one, man, people, people deal with that. All right. So you know, you’ve had some accolades, and congratulations on that. I’ll shout a few of these out. You know, the number one fastest growing company in the region, according to the Charlotte Business Journal, Deloitte fast 500 And number two for fastest growing pharmaceuticals, Inc. 5000. Number 50. And America. I’ve been there. We were on Deloitte fast tech and the Inc 5000. And I can attest to the fact and the Kansas City Business Journal’s we weren’t number one congrats as well. Well, it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot. And you kind of mentioned that that whole like, people, oh, you’re like the 1010 years with that overnight sensation. 10 years in the making? I mean, what’s some advice that you could give to people to just entrepreneurs in general that want to follow in your footsteps? Or just, you know, like, I think one of the main things, one of the reasons we’ve kept this show going for five years and 1100 episodes and, and very a lot of gratitude for what is by the time this comes out, probably going to be 5 million downloads. So thank you for paying attention, folks. But in another country, I love it. I love the knowledge transfer, you know, and it’s weird, because there’s not a tracking code or an analytic you can attach to that. There’s no conversion rate on how often our advice keeps people from doing dumb shit. Right. But I, but people tell me all the time, it’s been helpful. So like, what’s the advice that you’d want to pass on to others?
Jordan Schindler 32:29
And I think that’s exactly right. I mean, there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel, right? It’s amazing how similar a lot of these businesses are, whether it’s in foot care, or whether it’s in recruiting or software, there’s just so much overlap and learning that can happen there. One of the ones I like that’s been really meaningful to me is having a personal connection to the business. So I mean, I started to solve my own skin issue. And so it really didn’t feel like work because I was trying to do something for myself now, was that the fastest solution? Hell no. But it creates that connection, where I wake up in the morning, and Monday is my favorite time of the week to go check email and see what’s going on. And it doesn’t feel like work. It feels like I’m having fun getting to work with great people and getting to build something. And I think having that personal connection has been really valuable. The other thing that I like to think about is sort of the world as a startup as an ocean, and it’s just sort of bobbing around in the ocean, kind of sometimes getting hit by waves and can’t really see what’s going on. And it’s easy to get underwater. And it’s so hard once you’re underwater to think about how to get out of that. But it’s amazing how one email or one phone call or one LinkedIn message just changes your whole perspective. And so I think about swimming to the next buoy. Right, there’s a couple different ways you swim over here. And then suddenly, the world looks very different, right? You can maybe see land over there. Or you can see a ship over there. It’s amazing how sort of that one email I wasn’t going to send. Or that one phone call suddenly led to investor dollars who had connections to another investor, or a lead to this partnership deal or Oh, so and so actually new connection to Walmart buyer. And then suddenly, right, what felt like an insurmountable challenge is a totally different perspective, based on one tiny little 32nd action. And so just keeping that in mind for me, helps me when times get challenging or rough. And then I think the third one that I like more of a leadership management style is an airplane analogy. Like you’re sitting in a plane, and the plane goes through turbulence. What do you want to hear, right? You want to hear the pilot come on and say guys, everything’s under control. Just a little turbulence, nothing to worry about. Can the pilot really do anything about turbulence? No, probably not. But just the fact that you know someone is in control and aware of it lets you sort of take a deep breath and relax and I think I think about Leadership a lot like that is the team just wants to know you’re there you’re aware of it over communicate, you know what’s going on? Not that you have all the answers, because I certainly don’t have the fact that I’m aware of and communicating, I think helps drive leadership actions and comfort amongst our team.
Matt DeCoursey 35:15
Yeah, I agree with everything you said, Man, I think that there’s some pretty good inside of it, you know, the ocean analogy is, is strong. I’ve never really used that one before. But it made me you know, the first thought that came into my mind when you said that is, you know, in life, you have people that sank and you have people that swim. And I tell people a lot, I’m like, I’m a strong fucking swimmer. And I like that, and that and that’s a key thing. Because the problem is, like you mentioned, that it’s easy to get underwater, and some people just seem to settle for sinking. And, you know, and that’s if, and I think if you’re going to be a successful entrepreneur, business owner, or later, you’re going to have to learn you’re going to have to learn all of the strokes, you gotta be you know, because you’re gonna need a backstroke, Brasstown, all of that you’re gonna need all the strokes and there and keeping your head above water is a challenge on Sundays. I like the airplane analogy, too, because you’re right, like, you are kind of powerless up there. But the idea and I think a good leader, I’ve had to do at my own company, where you’re sometimes like, exactly like, the pilot sounds like, we’re going through a little bit of turbulence here, we’re gonna get past it, it’s okay, please sit down, fasten your seat belts, relax, raise your seats, you know, do whatever, we’re going to discontinue in seat service here for a few minutes. But we’ll be back, you know, and, and that, in that in that, you know, in that ballpark, I mean, there is something to be said about, I had to go through that a few times with the pandemic. So for my company, we’re five years old and 300 employees, and oh, man, that’s like, that’s almost kind of like trying to build the plane while going through the terminal, and you know, and get it off the ground and land it and assemble a flight crew, and you’re like, Yeah, but we’re already up in the air. Where are we gonna find these people? I don’t know, let’s create them.
Jordan Schindler 37:14
So there’s, yeah, what other nuggets have been helpful to you?
Matt DeCoursey 37:17
You know, I mean, I, people that know me will talk about mannerisms, you know, and then like, I kind of just spit them out randomly. I mean, I think overall, that is the key ingredient. So you know, when we, as we kind of, you know, arrive at the end of the show here, I’ll I kind of got a couple wrap up statements you mentioned. So you saw the problem that existed in and around your life. And with that, develop some passion for solving that problem. And I think that a key ingredient so I say I’m sure you get this a lot because you’ve been a successful CEO and founder so people, hey, I want to run an idea by you I got I’m thinking about doing this, I’m thinking about doing that. And there’s one situation that I will always shoot down, I don’t care what the idea is, I don’t care how well back to it is if you’re not passionate about it, I tell you not to get into it, because 10 years later, you’re gonna you would look back and and look, here’s the thing as an entrepreneur, you’re going to wake up on Sundays, you’re just not going to want to do it. And self discipline is described as, you know, doing the things that you need to do the most at the times that you want to do them the least. And passion washes that away. In a lot of cases. Like if you’re passionate about what you do, now you don’t have to own that you don’t have to own the business to be passionate about what you do. That’s a big, big part of what we do at Full Scale. So like when we’re so we help people build software development teams, you know, wants to just get us out of the way today’s show is brought to you by FullScale.io There you go. Third check mark I won’t get in trouble from the marketing department. But with that we spend the reason we’ve been successful in that our relationships and our team stick for people is we’re very adamant about matching people up with assignments that let them work with the technology skills or things that they’re passionate about. Meaning like you don’t you don’t take someone and put them in a role that they hate and that they’re not excited about and expect high productivity longevity or stability right and you’re not gonna that’s not the right way to get results but if your path and now look some people I’ve had people say to me that I might not be passionate about this but I’m passionate about making money. And honestly that can get it done too. You know, like I’ve said to people like this and this next statement kind of goes both ways. Whether it can be good or bad but money has a soft pillow. Right? It can, you can, it can, you can sleep through a lot of bullshit, fluting stuff that you self created, you know, people do a lot of dumb shit for money and then sleep well at night within. And also it can get you through like that it’s okay to have some passion with that. I don’t think that’s a key driver. I think that making money is a byproduct of being good at something and you started the very beginning of the show by using the word benefit. And you have to remember that that’s what people buy, people buy the benefit of your products or your services, not the features. So like, if you understand the benefit and your case you did, that can go a long way. But by the way, normally I do a thing I call it the founders freestyle. My guests kind of do what I just did. First, I’m gonna let you close the show out, Jordan. How about that?
Jordan Schindler 40:45
Wow, I love it.
Matt DeCoursey 40:46
Yeah, I took your spot. So we’re going to reverse it because I, which is very fair because I knew nothing about today’s topic. So I’ve tried, I’ve tried to swim through that ocean today. Thank you for your patience.
Jordan Schindler 40:57
And you want me to close on the Full Scale so that I can do that.
Matt DeCoursey 41:02
I want to throw an ad, and I’m down with that.
Jordan Schindler 41:06
Fourth, no, I very much enjoyed the conversation. I think a lot of nuggets here in terms of entrepreneurship and what it’s all about. I mean, for me, a lot of perseverance is a lot of doing what matters most. And I think it’s how you, at the end of the day, create products that help people to hear common things about benefits. I mean, my grandpa, unfortunately, suffered from Alzheimer’s for a number of years and could never remember to take his medications. But interestingly, I mean, he still puts on a sock every single morning. And that’s really what gets me up in the morning, every single day, right to try to solve issues. And yes, we’re starting with pain. But there are so many other application areas that we can go after because it’s truly just platform, health, or category. And so I’m excited about the future. And I’ll encourage you and the listeners next time they get dressed in the morning to think about what health benefits their clothing is giving them because that’s where we think this intersection of healthcare and pharmaceuticals is headed.
Matt DeCoursey 42:06
Yeah, man, I appreciate the time. And you know, one last comment, I think if you talked back to that passion, I think that so many entrepreneurs have a passion for helping other people. And I see that as a huge driver. I see a lot of people getting to the finish line that they envision editing around their business or their cars because they like helping other people. That’s one of the things that Full Scale is the most redeeming thing is working with all these other tech companies and entrepreneurs. Because you know, the problem we solve is to earn enough software developers in the US like there’s like 300,000 open programmer jobs at any given time. So people need to solve that problem. But it’s difficult to find people worldwide and that trust factor, and a lot of that, helped see people get what they want. And, you know, and sometimes also being the reasonable voice. And then, as I gotta say, you know, they’re like, Hey, this isn’t this didn’t get billed as fast as we hoped. And you’re like, hey, usually don’t, man, you know? And, you know, but that’s but then, you know, help to help people through that turbulent time. And you know, we’ve gone through a little bit of that in the last five years, that’s been an entry. That’s all whole. I have to do a whole series on that.
Jordan Schindler 43:17
Oh, I bet, and to that point, right. If I always love talking to fellow entrepreneurs, especially those trying to get into textiles or biotech, I can be a resource. Feel free to connect with me just at Jordan Schindler on LinkedIn and check out our products. You can find Nufabrx, which targets Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens in the pharmacy.
Matt DeCoursey 43:36
Yeah, well, I can keep up the good work. I’m gonna check back in on you down the road.
Jordan Schindler 43:39
I look forward to it.