Teen invents, sells first aid vending machine
Taylor Rosenthal recently turned down a $30 million offer to buy RecMed, which started as an eighth-grade project
OPELIKA, Ala. — A 14-year-old turned down a $30 million offer to buy his startup idea — a vending machine that dispenses first aid products.
"Every time I'd travel for a baseball tournament in Alabama, I'd notice that kids would get hurt and parents couldn't find a Band-Aid," Rosenthal said. "I wanted to solve that."
He first thought about setting up a pop-up shop at tournaments to sell first-aid kits, but he realized that wasn't the best model. Then the vending machine idea struck. Rosenthal sketched a design and consulted his parents, who both work in the medical industry.
By December, he had a working prototype and acquired a patent. Users can pick from two options: prepackaged first-aid kits for dealing with issues like sun burns, cuts, blisters and bee stings or you can buy individual supplies like Band-Aids, rubber gloves, hydrocortisone wipes and gauze pads. The kits range from $5.99 to $15.95.
Rosenthal already has an order from amusement park Six Flags for 100 machines. The machines cost $5,500 apiece.
"It has been amazing watching Taylor grow over the past year into this confident and amazing business man," Clarinda Jones, one of Rosenthal's teachers, said. "Even with all of his success, he remains humble and ready to help others. He's just 14. Bill Gates should be worried."