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Encore Entrepreneur Success Story: PrepMD
While the country debates the value of higher education in preparing young people for employment, PrepMD is providing an innovative solution to a problem many are unaware of: a lack of skilled cardiac rhythm management and electrophysiology specialists. PrepMD is built around very specific, hands-on training programs designed to create expertise in fields that many colleges and universities overlook and many employers cannot train for in a cost-effective manner. The training programs last 26 weeks, or 6 months, and cost approximately $30,000, but demand has never been a problem given this strong business model.
The company’s two founders, Bob Mattioli and Matt O’Neal, have more than 65 years of medical device industry experience combined. Before founding PrepMD, Mr. Mattioli served as TyRx Pharma’s Vice President of Commercial Development where he constructed the commercial investment model that secured the principle investment of $25M for the company. Mr. O’Neal served as Area Vice President for Boston Scientific Corporation Inc. At the end of their corporate careers, Messrs. Mattioli and O’Neal decided to trade the idea of a traditional retirement for something a bit more exciting and rewarding – starting PrepMD.
Since the company’s humble beginning in 2009, Messrs. Mattioli and Neal have successfully trained more than 120 participants, placing 87% of them in jobs that require their skillsets. PrepMD has expanded to five full-time employees and now has an 8,000 square foot training facility in Braintree, Massachusetts along with multiple partnerships with area hospitals for observation and training purposes. With the help of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the founders of PrepMD were able to secure a 7(a) loan for $600,000 in 2009, and sought initial guidance from SCORE, an organization that provides free counseling for small businesses.
When it comes to giving back to the community, Mr. Mattioli and his team are just as focused and committed as ever. Once per training session, PrepMD organizes a fundraising event for the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association, or SCAA, a nongovernmental organization that places defibrillators in public spaces such as airports and high school playing fields. The SCAA promotes solutions to prevent sudden cardiac death, including increased awareness, immediate bystander action, public access to defibrillation (PAD), cardiovascular disease prevention, and access to preventative therapies.
In life and in business, success often comes from finding both passion and direction. The passion of PrepMD’s executives, coupled with their intense focus and vision for the nation’s medical device community will surely take the company to new levels of growth and success.