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  • 17 February 2015
  • Tracy Spahr

College Entrepreneur of the Year – Aaron Goldstein, CEO, Fever Smart

Aaron Goldstein grew up an entrepreneur by nature. In high school, he started a few small businesses and investment portfolios, which led him to attend the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. According to Goldstein, he chose Wharton so he could “take his entrepreneurial abilities to the next level.”

During his freshman year, his close friend and classmate, Colin Hill, became sick with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Hill would oftentimes wake up in the middle of the night with a fever, and become frustrated by his inability to track his temperature continuously or be remotely monitored by his doctor.

In a lot of circumstances, there are entrepreneurs that have done it before and have faced similar situations.

“Through Colin’s personal struggle, we were able to come up with the idea for our company,” Goldstein recounted.

The two business-minded students developed Fever Smart – a reusable smart patch worn under the armpit that continuously monitors the user’s temperature. Temperature readings are sent to a relay device, to the company’s servers, and to a mobile device. If a fever spikes, an alert is set off by the device’s mobile application.

After two years and countless hours of design, development and hard work, Fever Smart now has four employees, and the smart patch thermometer is commercially available for purchase.

Utilize your resources

Being a full-time student while simultaneously starting a business is no easy task, but Goldstein believes that being in school helped him succeed. “College is one of the best places to be an entrepreneur,” Goldstein explained. “There are so many resources on all university campuses – the professors are world leaders in many different areas.”

Goldstein has found an amazing entrepreneurial community at Wharton, and many of his professors serve as his mentors. In the beginning stages of Fever Smart, Goldstein would often go into his professors’ offices and talk through specific problems he was facing. His professors would offer advice and help define areas of Fever Smart’s business plan, such as target market, competitive landscape, and the timing and regulatory issues involved with bringing a smart thermostat to market.

“Being able to discuss the problems we were experiencing and the questions we had with our professors was so helpful,” Goldstein recalled. “For us, it was a combination of leveraging our resources, putting our heads down, and working hard to achieve our goal.”

Don’t reinvent the wheel

“My philosophy is, ‘Why reinvent the wheel?’” Goldstein says. “In a lot of circumstances, there are entrepreneurs that have done it before and have faced similar situations. They’ve faced failure and know what the right solution is.”

In the beginning phases of Fever Smart, Goldstein and his team took advantage of every opportunity to network and talk with other entrepreneurs who had taken similar journeys.

“By talking to them, we’ve been able to leverage their experiences and figure out what we should do and what we should avoid.”

Goldstein also believes it’s important to ask the right questions. “If you don’t know an answer, someone else will know. Make sure you’re asking the right questions, and you’ll find your way to the right solutions.”

The art of being efficient

In order to find success as a full-time business student, while also operating as CEO of Fever Smart, Goldstein has had to learn to make the most of every day.

“I don’t sleep a lot,” Goldstein laughed. “Running a company while being a full-time student has taught me to become extremely efficient with my time, energy and resources. It’s important to be diligent about what work you have and when it’s due.”

Although it can be challenging, Goldstein believes that at the end of the day, if your dream is to start a business, you can make it happen. “You can definitely be successful both as a student in the classroom and as a student entrepreneur. You just have to take advantage of the limited time that you have.”

Always be open to new opportunities

More than anything, Goldstein stresses that it’s important to strategically seek new opportunities for your small business.

“Originally, our product was marketed to parents who were looking to monitor their young childrens’ temperatures continuously,” Goldstein says. “When the Ebola outbreak occurred, we shifted the focus to using our product to help solve this epidemic. This wasn’t something we had planned for or expected, but it was critical for us to be dynamic and change our strategy.”

Goldstein looks forward to continuing the growth of Fever Smart and hopes to change the way healthcare is delivered around the world.

The UPS Store extends its congratulations to Aaron Goldstein – Entrepreneur Magazine’s College Entrepreneur of 2014!

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