The Millennial Minds series thus far has been a place for entrepreneurial young adults to share their trials, tribulations and budding businesses. (Check out past stories here, here, and here.) However, we have yet to be able to share a business that was based on an invention, specifically, one that has the potential to save millions of lives.
That is where Revolar comes in.
The brainchild of University of Florida alum Jacqueline Ros, Revolar has gown from her one-person startup to a fully funded business with 15 employees and millions in investment capital. Jacqueline gave 20something the lowdown on building a product-based business from idea through conception and beyond.
The idea behind Revolar is deeply personal for CEO Jacqueline, who said:
I began working on Revolar in college. I came up with the idea in an entrepreneurial class at UF because of my sister. Before she was 17, my sister was sexually assaulted twice. All I wanted was a ‘magic button’ that she could have pressed to let me know she was in trouble. When I asked her if it was something that could have helped, her response was enough to catalyze this process.
Post-college, Jacqueline used her graduation money to patent her idea — the magic button that someone in distress could press to disclose their real-time location to friends and family for help. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, investors noticed her product and she was able to close a multi-million dollar deal.
Soon enough Jacqueline became the CEO of a rapidly growing company without ever having a day job. This incredible leap gave her a unique perspective on entrepreneurialism.
Without a technical background, Jacqueline went through the tedious process of finding engineering talent and a technical team that would be a good match for her vision. She relied heavily on surrounding herself with passionate and like-minded people as she grew her business. Her biggest piece of advice for budding millennial business owners is to find great mentors.
“The best part about being a first time business owner/founder is I get to do things my own way. Having no bias from previous work means I have/get to take the lessons I’ve learned from my mentors along the way and improve as I go,”Jacqueline said.
Jacqueline described her goal of getting her invention into the hands of the thousands of women being turned away on a daily basis from domestic violence shelters “audacious.” That goal is becoming more attainable as Revolar strengthens and broadens its reach as it continues to rely on social media to generate funds and spread its unique and powerful concept.
Jacqueline said her team is the key to this success and growth.
“We are a group of people who are survivors and allies of survivors and the stories we have to tell are a super important component of how Revolar moves forward.”
This sentiment expands Revolar from a life-saving tool to a community and network of support for a potentially limitless number of people.
The personal sentiment combined with a fierce sense of grounded dedication helped Jacqueline build not only a company, but also the kind of life that many entrepreneurs aspire.
“We are carving out a new way of working. My dad always said, ‘When I retire…’ and that never happened,” Jacqueline said.
Flexible time off means working your butt off, but being flexible to allow for human experiences. Let’s do something fantastic, but let’s also take the time to enjoy it while we can.
Revolar is one example of how millennials can change the world while building a life that both inspires and fulfills them in a nontraditional way. That’s why stories like Jacqueline’s are some of the most important that we can tell.
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