Why You Should Know Alec Gillinder & Quinn King
For our seventh interview, we had on Alec Gillinder and Quinn King, two friends intent on shaking up the medical device industry. In their third year of college at Syracuse University, Alec and Quinn entered Invent @SU, a 6-week summer program at Syracuse, where you can design a product and pitch it to a board of investors for an opportunity to win cash prizes.
Now, most kids who enter business plan competitions like this one do so for the experience. They think it would be cool to compete and the idea of winning is alluring but they don’t break their backs over it. Alec and Quinn are not like most kids though. They had one goal in mind: Win.
So they sat down and studied every winner of previous competitions and saw almost every winner had one thing in common: They were all in the medical device industry.
So they got to work and created their product L-IV (The Liberating Intravenous System). This portable IV system can connect an IV system to the body using two simple straps, allowing the patient to receive treatment while remaining mobile.
This invention safe to say got them first place in the competition, awarding them $5,000 along with a $1,000 stipend which helped them develop their first prototype. They not only won this competition but also went on to place first in The Impact Prize Competition. Impact Prize is another business plan competition where staff with expertise in civic engagement or social entrepreneurship select teams to pitch their venture and win grant money.
They then placed second in CuseTank, amassing them another cool $2,500, a “Shark-Tank” style competition featuring idea pitches by student innovators to a panel of distinguished entrepreneurs. From there they placed first in the Panasci Business Plan Competition, another campus-wide student business plan competition. This time getting a check for $20,000.
Finally, the two took the big stage and entered the ACC InVenture Prize Competition, the startup competition of the year! They competed against 12 other Atlantic Coast Conference’s best entrepreneurs from schools like Duke, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, and landed second place, amassing them another $10,000.
Just recently, they were accepted by the prestigious MassChallenge Boston accelerator, a nonprofit that has raised over 6 billion dollars for their various startups. These guys are on track to make huge waves within the medical device industry and this interview will let you dive into the minds of these two and see how they think.
In This Episode, You’ll Learn
How to succeed in business plan competitions, how to think unconventionally, and how to create something that doesn’t aim to just create value but make a difference. You will also learn what Alec and Quinn think is the number 1 key to all of their early success and what other people should be doing if they plan on starting a business of their own.
BOOKS, RESOURCES, NOTABLE QUOTES
“The key to entrepreneurship in a way is you see all the issues in front of you and you just got to go for it. And you have to not be afraid to put your issues to the side and give 100%.”
“Alec and I were never afraid to break social norms in terms of our age. There were times early on when people would doubt us because of our age and I think having the mindset of keep going really got us through.”
“We had a moment where we were like alright if we are going to do this business plan competition let’s really win this. So the first thing we did was look up all the previous winners of the competition and what we saw is that they were all medical products. So from there we just knocked off everything that wasn’t related to medical for our ideas.”
“One of the most productive things you can do is take your product and put it in front of someone that you think might use the product and say, “Do your best to figure out what I just did. Just play with it.” From this you will be able to see first hand how someone interacts with your product.”
“A common misconception online is that when you’re an entrepreneur you need to be that kind of person who has to destroy relationships just to get this one thing off the ground but you don’t have to do that. Most people don’t work that way that’s just a very small percentage of people who are okay with burning bridges along the way.”