Rowan students and founders of 4U Medical Designs, Nicholas Nastasi and Joshua Perry, are selling stickers and creating smiles nationwide with their medical grade, child-friendly designs.
After receiving intravenous therapy as a child, Nastasi remembered how scared he was seeing medical devices like IV bags and needles. This led to a fear of needles when he would visit the doctor’s office for vaccinations. During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, he had an idea to try and minimize this fear and anxiety for others by creating stickers.
“During the quarantine period of time I realized that, you know, if the walls can be decorated, child friendly, so should the devices that were meant to help you. So I did a lot of ideation and tried to find ways where we can take these devices that some children see months and years on end, and really put a kid-friendly aspect to it,” Nastasi, a senior business management major said.
Nastasi’s solution was medical grade stickers that can be placed on syringes, feeding bags and IV bags as a way to make the devices seem less intimidating for the children who are getting treated. With help from his best friend and business partner, Joshua Perry, a junior biomedical engineering major, the two were able to build 4U Medical Designs, a company devoted to reducing fear and anxiety in the healthcare industry.
“So pretty much since middle school, me and Nick have been best friends, and he kind of came to me with this idea during the pandemic and at first, I had a few questions about it and then I was like, ‘No… this can be like something great.’ I was like, ‘I had to help out,’” Perry said.
Their stickers are patent pending, lab tested and third party tested to ensure that they are safe to place on medical devices. They also work with a medical grade manufacturer in order to ensure that all of the right guidelines are met.
The price for a single syringe sticker roll with 40 stickers is $39.99, a IV bag sticker roll with 30 stickers goes for $74.99, feeding bag sticker rolls with 30 stickers go for $74.99 and customers can get a 20 pack of 60 CC syringe stickers for $14.99, according to their website. Hospitals and clinics can also buy products in bundles if they are looking to stock up.
On March 25, the two took their business to the next level, taking home first place and $41,000 at Texas Christian University’s Values and Ventures competition. This specific pitch competition focuses on “ideas for conscious capitalism ventures that make a profit while also solving a problem” according to TCU’s website.
This is actually the second year that Nastasi and Perry have competed at Values and Ventures. Last year, they attended and secured a spot in the top 42, but did not advance as finalists.
“We didn’t do good last year, you know, nerves and lack of experience pitching, I would say, contributed to that. And we got a lot of great feedback and a lot of motivation after that competition. So we kind of had this competition circled on our calendars. And we knew we wanted to come back with a fair fighting chance this year,” Nastasi said.
And they did — winning first place and $40,000 in the competition, as well as third place and $1,000 in the Investor Challenge. They were able to use feedback they received and experience from last year to focus on what they needed to improve to succeed.
“You know, they [the competition judges] asked us a lot of questions, a lot of questions that we didn’t quite have an answer for. So we went out after that competition and we got those questions answered. And we got those questions answered in our favor, to improve our products,” Perry said.
Founder Nicholas Nastasi is also the older brother of Bobica Bars Founder, Harrison Nastasi who recently won first place for New Jersey at this year’s Global Student Entrepreneur Awards. Both brothers maintain full time college student status while also running their own businesses.
Being able to see their hard work pay off was also rewarding, as they were able to use feedback and criticism to propel their company forward.
“Just the feeling of knowing that we had that perseverance was fulfilling, because a lot of people would stop after getting some of the criticism or, you know, failures that we had, but we kept going and we persevered and that feeling was ultimate for us,” Nastasi said.
4U Medical Designs currently works with eight hospitals nationwide. With the money they earned from the competition, they hope to connect with more healthcare professionals and children across the country.
“We’re having a great impact with the companies and healthcare companies that we’re currently working with, but we know we can do it on a larger scale to impact more lives. So now that we have the money, you know, we want to implement it towards healthcare conferences, expanding our design line…as well as increasing our scale,” Nastasi said.