Pediatrician Amy Baxter knew she was onto something when she came up with Buzzy, a cute, vibrating bee-shaped device with an ice pack that provides natural relief from the pain of medical injections. Realizing there was nothing like it on the market, she could have ramped up quickly by responding to what she calls “overbearing suggestions” to meet with equity investors. But instead, she opted to go after a grant from the National Institutes of Health, which she won. That gave her the freedom to stick with her vision for a reusable product that used green packaging — and was made in the U.S. — moves that would not necessarily deliver the highest profits to investors.
Baxter has no regrets. She launched her startup in 2009. Hospitals that tried Buzzy helped give the product credibility, and now individuals have begun to purchase it, sparking sales growth at the startup. “We’ve been profitable the last two years — and haven’t started marketing yet,” she says.
NEXT: A business model pivot