VERSAILLES, Ky. (WTVQ) – Two recent high school graduates have a patent pending for their new overdose safety product.
Adie Preston and Abigail Cheek, both 18 years old, are the co-founders of Dose Defense, their company for a new pill bottle insert that limits the amount of pills coming out of the bottle.
It all started last year at the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs, GSE, where the two were part of a four person team and were challenged to solve a problem.
Cheek remembered an alarming time from her childhood during the teams brainstorming.
When she was about eight and her brother six, she recalls how he had grabbed his prescribed pills and ate all the pills in the bottle.
“I remembered having to rush to the ER after he ate all those pills,” she said. “And so we just starting thinking of a way to keep kids from overdosing.”
The team won the pitch competition at GSE for their invention. Preston and Cheek said they didn’t want to stop at the prize money, the other two members of the team dropping their involvement.
The girls said despite criticism about their age, both heading to colleges in different states, they are determined to stick with the business.
“It’s kind of nerve-racking, we’re two eighteen year olds trying to start a business, but an idea is an idea no matter who it comes from,” Preston said.
The two believe being apart for college and focusing on their passions will bring diverse ideas and even more connections to the table.
Cheek will attend University of Louisville and Preston is headed to Georgia Tech.
Preston’s mom, Stephanie Hold, happens to work for Kentucky’s drug monitoring program.
Hold said the two are always together and she’s loved watching them grow.
“I can’t believe she’s 18,” Hold said.
She also said, of course she’s proud of their work as a mom, but having knowledge about the field made the invention even more special.
“I think it can be marketed so relatively inexpensive that it would be a no-brainer to include in the pill bottle as another form of protection,” Hold said.
The next step is capital.
While Dose Defense has had investors interested already, Preston and Cheek are hoping to find a strategic investor who can open doors in the pharmaceutical industry and provide capital.
Cheek said they’re both motivated to get their company’s name out there in person or even online.
Their first press coverage was a feature on Middle Tech podcast this month.
Preston said it’s through things like the podcast and social media that will help them build their network.
Hold said if you get to know the girls, you’ll quickly learn the sky’s the limit for this duo.