Talking Top Gun with Rx Option
What was your inspiration for starting the company?
The inspiration for Rx Option actually wasn’t mine, it was the co-founder of Rx Option. The idea came from a very talented guy named Nick Mamula. For a period of time, he had worked for a pharmaceutical company as a drug representative for a few particular medications. We were chatting as friends when he mentioned some of the complexities having to do with drug pricing. It was fascinating because like everyone else, I had thought the price of a drug was just like of a gallon of milk, being that it was the same everywhere. He explained that the price of a drug can have many different prices depending on insurance, Medicare and even how you ask for it. These factors have a profound bearing on the drug’s price. In other words, in any given pharmacy, each drug has many different prices. It’s not intuitive and I, like most people, knew nothing about how to shop for medication.
What are some of your major takeaways from your time in Silicon Valley?
I had a fascinating career in Silicon Valley because I started as a CPA before being recruited by a client. The company I joined was very fast growing; we made the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies list. It really was my first opportunity to work with and learn from an amazing entrepreneur named Jerry Machado. In fact, he originally founded and sold Petco. From there, I worked for a software company called Accolade, which was a hoot, as well. This was in the mid 90’s, so it was around the dawn of the internet. It was a very entrepreneurial environment and of course, the climate was nice!
How does that environment compare to the Bangor region?
Well, I made the conscious choice to move to Bangor because the quality of life is so much better. Yes, in Silicon Valley you’ve got a hot bed of all the big companies like Yahoo! and Apple, but it is incredibly competitive and expensive to live there. You really need two incomes to be able to afford a house; a run-down starter home in a bad neighborhood can cost you $700,000.
You find entrepreneurship and creativity anywhere you go. Even as I’ve gotten involved with Top Gun, I’m amazed at what some people are doing. Being in the Bangor region, I can get fairly good access to whatever it is that I need. If I need someone who’s a talented programmer, I can find that. If I need a graphic designer, I can find that, too. I am in no way contained in assessing talent.
What is the largest hurdle you have faced so far?
It’s what we’re working on right now. Nick and I have invented an amazing solution to a problem that a lot of people don’t realize they have, so you have the added challenge of trying to first communicate the fact that there is a problem and then offer the solution. This is more complicated than people already being aware that they face a particular problem because in that case, they will inevitably seek out the solution themselves.
For the next few weeks we will be featuring other innovative entrepreneurs from our Top Gun Bangor Class of 2018, so be on the lookout for other write-ups about these fantastic individuals! If you would like to hear more about the Top Gun Entrepreneurship Accelerator, visit our program page here.
Top Gun Sponsors