Originally from Puerto Rico, Maritza Rodriguez, co-founder of InNOVAMED, LLC, moved to Florida in December of 2012. She had a master's degree in accounting and couldn't find the opportunity she wanted in Puerto Rico. A month after moving to Orlando, she secured a job with Lynx Transportation working in the finance department. Five years later, her son and business partner, Brayan Sanchez, left Puerto Rico after much of the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria. Rodriguez shared their story from an idea fueled by passion to an aggressive plan to expand their business and add additional services.
"Brayan is a registered nurse in Puerto Rico," Rodriguez said. "His entire career has been in healthcare. He truly has a passion for health, public health and nursing. When he moved to Deltona, he wanted to do something on his own as a way to step up his career. My background is in business management and accounting. We saw an opportunity to put together our backgrounds and do something special. We came up with the idea to put together a training center to provide basic and advanced life saving training courses for the citizens of Volusia County."
In March of 2018, Rodriguez and Sanchez, officially launched InNOVAMED, LLC. They provide training for medical and non-medical providers, as well as swimming and lifeguard classes. They work with firefighters, police, paramedics, teachers, doctors, nurses and more. In addition to basic and advanced life support training courses, they also offer pediatric advanced life support training. Their current providers include, American Heart Association (AHA), American Health and Safety Institute (ASHI) and American Red Cross. Certifications they provide include, Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).
After a year in business, Rodriguez is happy with their progress, but admits that it hasn't been easy. "We had to take out personal loans for the equipment," she said. "The equipment is not cheap. Another challenge has been our location. We're currently doing training classes out of our house. For some students, it's uncomfortable to be in someone else's house. They're used to being in an office setting. There are some, however, that appreciate the more personal treatment. They don't feel like a number."
Rodriguez and Sanchez have partnered with a local marketing agency, Bounce Media, to handle their website, social media and other marketing needs. They're also targeting colleges, universities and hospitals as options to generate new business. They plan to set up a table to hand out flyers and other marketing materials.
Rodriguez shared how they divide and conquer and what keeps them focused. "Brayan does all the training," she said. "I'm on the business side of things. I do all the paperwork, tax related stuff, accounting, bookkeeping, student records and convert our living room when it's time for a class. The fact that we're providing techniques to save people's lives is what keeps us focused. It gives meaning to everything we do to keep the business moving forward."
Looking ahead, Rodriguez and Sanchez have some very lofty and exciting goals. They're currently searching for a physical location to conduct their training classes. Once they find the right location, they plan to expand their services to include hospice, homecare, medical equipment and non-medical transports. Deltona is growing and Rodriguez shared that she's extremely happy to be part of the community.
What advice does Rodriguez have for aspiring entrepreneurs? "Don't miss the chance to do a step up in your career," she said. "Join the entrepreneurial adventure today. If you don't do it now, you'll never do it. It takes hard work, but you have to do it if you want to be successful. You'll never know if you don't try."