Athletic Testing Solutions is JCCC KSBDC's 2016 Emerging Business of the Year
Congratulations to Eric Schroeder and David Kuluva of Athletic Testing Solutions for being selected as Emerging Business of the Year by the Small Business Development Center at Johnson County Community College. Here is their story:
Alarmed by the growing number of kids effected by heart abnormalities, Eric Schroeder and David Kuluva designed a process for identifying at risk youth. Athletic Testing Solutions (ATS) offers portable clinics to screen for heart abnormalities. A typical screening, called the ATS Heart Check, includes review of the youth's family history, health questionnaire, blood pressure, EKG and an ultrasound image of the heart. Within 10 days of the screening, a pediatric cardiologist analyzes the tests and reports the findings to ATS, who in turn supply the reports back to the families and the child's pediatrician. Equipped with these findings, parents and doctors can make informed decisions.
Turning a Product into a Business
When starting their business,David and Eric faced two significant obstacles: funding and awareness. The owners invested their own equity into startup operations, but sustaining positive cash flow was dependent on screening revenue. While the tests run by ATS Heart Check typically cost up to $1,500 at a doctor's office, David and Eric were determined that cost would not be a barrier to any family wanting these tests. The business owners partnered with two nonprofits to reduce the cost to $99 per screening, while offering additional financial aid to those that qualify. These innovative partnerships, combined with corporate sponsorships, have allowed ATS to offer tests to all interested youth.
Serving the Community
ATS faces the ongoing challenge of educating youth, families and organizations about sudden onset cardiac arrest and other heart abnormalities in asymptomatic children. Educating schools, community centers and parents about the possibility of these symptoms required a strategic marketing plan that informs people without frightening them. In 2013, David and Eric visited with Elisa Waldman of the KSBDC at Johnson County Community College
, seeking marketing support as well as help aligning operational tactics with strategic vision.
David and Eric describe Elisa's role as "providing constant support and assistance in keeping ATS Heart Check focused on priorities and headed in the right direction." David explains that their work with the KSBDC provided them with the "confidence to move forward despite uncertainty." Over the past three years, David and Eric's persistence and passion have resulted in invitations to set up clinics in many school districts throughout the metropolitan area.
David and Eric exhibit exceptional entrepreneurial values and leadership through their commitment, dedication to quality and extreme attention to detail. They attribute their success to a strong belief in the services they offer. Since opening in 2012, ATS has completed more than 3,000 ATS Heart Checks, finding abnormalities in approximately 8 percent (more than 250) of those tested. ATS has recently launched national licensing opportunities, and David and Eric look forward to offering a mobile unit in the near future, so that they can help save lives in rural and smaller communities.
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