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PART 3: Skyler O’Dell’s “Paradigm Challenge” start-up focused on healing and recovery

Knoxville Area Urban League(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the third article in a series spotlighting the East Knoxville start-ups that are pitching in the upcoming “Paradigm Challenge” competition set for this Saturday {June 17} at the Eternal Harvest Life Center East Campus, 2410 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Festivities begin at 10 a.m., and the public is invited.)

The “Paradigm Challenge” is a Launch Tennessee-supported and Knoxville Area Urban League-led (KAUL) effort to bring new business starts into the East Knoxville community. As noted in this previous teknovation.biz article about the program, KAUL has been supported in the programming by a number of organizations including the Knoxville Entrepreneur CenterKnoxville Chamber and its Propel programTennessee Small Business Development Center, and Greater Knoxville SCORE chapter.

We asked the Entrepreneurs who will be pitching their ideas to answer a set of questions. Today, we feature True Patient Assistance, a start-up founded by Skyler O’Dell.

  • Tell us about yourself and, if applicable, your other team members . . . names(s), background(s), experience, etc. My name is Skyler O’Dell, and I am 25 years old. I have my degree in Rehabilitation Science with a Spanish minor from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and I am also a licensed Chiropractic Therapy Assistant/Physical Therapy Technician.
  • Describe the focus of your start-up and the problem you are trying to address. The focus of my start-up company is non-medical home healthcare. My business is called True Patient Assistance, and we go above and beyond to ensure you receive the highest quality of care during your healing and recovery. Our goal is to educate, assist, and heal. We are addressing problems such as pain, trigger points; muscle guarding/spasms; decreased range of motion; sub-acute and chronic inflammation; sub-acute edema/contusion; sub-acute sprains; and strains, bursitis, tendonitis, muscle strengthening and scar tissue. We aim to help promote faster healing through different modalities so that you can get to a healthier lifestyle.
  • How did the idea to start the company originate? What was the catalyst? The idea came from me watching my grandmother, who is 92 years old with dementia. She moved in with us, and I saw firsthand all of the time and effort that was needed to help care for her, and I saw how hard it was for one person to do. My grandfather, before he passed, was placed in a nursing home because we couldn’t take care of him by ourselves anymore and that broke my heart. I hated seeing him in that place, and he was also very uncomfortable. This (my start-up) is a way for patients to recover and heal in the comfort of their own home where they feel safe as opposed to being put in a place where they may not receive the best care. I will be able to go into people’s houses and provide assistance for them as needed to help facilitate a more efficient way of living.
  • What was the impetus for applying to participate in the Paradigm Challenge? I was inspired to apply to the “Paradigm Challenge” because it was an opportunity for me to provide healing and assistance to my community, especially in a part of town that doesn’t get that much attention. This would be a way for me to promote growth in the East Knoxville area and help boost the economy for Knoxville. This area needs someone like me to come in and help assist them with things they may not necessarily be able to do anymore.
  • What has been the greatest value the programming and mentoring have provided thus far? The greatest value I have taken from this program so far is to make sure that I absolutely know my budget, breakeven, and start-up costs. This has been very vital to me forming my business because, if you don’t know the numbers, you don’t know your business, and I am very grateful for all the help I am receiving.
  • What do you expect to accomplish by the June 17 Demo Day? On June 17th, I hope to not only win the “Paradigm Challenge,” but inspire people who may not think that they have the time or funds to start a business that I am living proof it can be done. I aim to make sure that my brand is known and gets seen by many people so that I can make a footprint in Knoxville. This challenge holds much more value to me than $10,000. This will literally help change not only my life but a lot of other people’s lives as well, and I am excited to get it started!

Tom Ballard

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer,
Pershing Yoakley & Associates. P.C.

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