28 Days to Save the World
With Dan Purvis
Today’s entrepreneur has helped the blind see and the sick breathe. He overcame serious limitations to help people during the pandemic – and now he is here to tell us the story of his epic 28 days to save the world on The Business of You!
Dan Purvis is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of six companies. He is the CEO and co-founder of Velentium, a professional engineering firm that specializes in the design and manufacturing of therapeutic and diagnostic active medical devices. He has 25 years of practical know-how in creating corporate environments that people want to work in and clients want to engage with.
The theme throughout his professional and nonprofit endeavors has been an intense love for people, which led Dan to become a student of culture. Dan’s passion is building things. His background is in automation, controls, and software. When working with people, he identifies possibilities for what they can accomplish.
Dan Purvis is doing remarkable things. Velentium designs and develops plantable neurostimulator devices that change lives for a better world. One of the companies Velentium partners with is called Second Sight. Together, they help the blind see – using a special pair of glasses that senses light, the imagery is played on the wearer’s optic nerve.
At Velentium, what began as a two-person operation grew to a multimillion-dollar-firm within three years. From 2014 on, Velentium has averaged 50% annual growth year over year. Velentium has executed 1,500 projects in 15+ countries, working with over 100 clients. Velentium has recently been named to the 18th Annual Aggie 100™, honored as fastest-growing company.
Rise to the occasion
Velentium exists to change lives for a better world – and they stick to their promise to rise to the occasion when things get hard.
When Velentium scaled up and took on manufacturing, Dan was proud of their dedication and hard work. But nothing could have prepared him for what came next. When the pandemic hit, Dan realized that one of their partner companies was going to have to begin producing thousands more ventilators, at a rate they’d never been able to deliver before.
With his own family in mind, Dan decided to be part of the solution. He made some phone calls and specifically requested to fly from Houston to Seattle where the first COVID deaths had occurred – just in time for Ventech Systems’ 8am morning meeting. In partnership with General motors, Ventech took the 100 units a month they were producing and turned it into 10,000 units a month in just 28 days.
Radical transparency forges strong bonds
When Velentium initially received the massive, record-breaking order from General Motors for thousands of ventilators, Dan Purvis turned it down. Everyone thought he was crazy.
Shocked, the purchasing department called him on the phone. So far, he had risen to every request and need they had – so why was he turning this one down? Dan was honest with them: He could not deliver what they were asking for, by the date they had requested. They asked him for a new date, but he still could not give a definitive answer.
After ramping up production to unprecedented speeds, Dan was still wary of making promises he could not follow through on. Essentially, he asked them to work with him. He would push his team as far as they could go and produce as much as they could – and he would promise to brief them daily on Velentium’s progress.
While this was different from what General Motors had dealt with in the past, they appreciated Dan’s transparency. He hired his own personal friends for their purchasing team, asked his employees to go above and beyond and still required that every ventilator be thoroughly tested. He wrote a book, 28 Days to Save the World, to tell the story of what it looks like when an entrepreneur has to rise to an extraordinary challenge, overcoming all obstacles.
Enjoy this world-changing conversation with Dan Purvis – about work culture, guiding principles, teamwork and courage.
“We were a contract design and development house that is now a contract design, development and manufacturing house. It’s really important for your listeners to know that as they get more and more successful in their entrepreneurial cycle, just understand that growth eats cash. The more you grow, the faster you grow, the less cash you’ll have. With manufacturing, we can now finish the project, hand it into our manufacturing shop, and now we can have revenue for the life of the product that we just developed!”
“Thinking as entrepreneurs: How do I get my business model into a place where there is perpetual repeatable revenue and I don’t have to go through the whole sales effort again and again to keep revenue up?”
“I could not have a time where it’s your mom and my mom, and they both have COVID – but there’s only one ventilator left. I thought, if we can make a difference in that, we need to. So I flew out there.”
“We doubled the size of the company in about a week, and through that process, just stepped in over and over and over again. We ended up writing a book about it, 28 Days to Save the World. One of the things I say in that book is that you’re going to have all-in moments that come across you in your career as an entrepreneur. In those moments, it is absolutely critical that you step in and volunteer yourself – why not me? Why not you? When it comes, you have to not just dip your toe in the water. You’ve got to cannonball. And we did.”
“We had 120 people in what was a company of about 48…working 16 hours days, seven days a week. And then I called several of my friends who were all at home watching The Office reruns because they were bored, wondering what’s going to happen with the world. I was like, Are you bored? They’re like, I’m bored out of my mind. I was like, well, join our purchasing team!”
“We wrote 28 Days to Save the World, to tell that story, but more importantly, to give entrepreneurs like your listeners a good, hard perspective of the culture. Work we have been doing for ten years is what enabled that story.”
“At Valentium, we have four principles that govern all that we do: Our passion, honor, humble charisma, and the commitment to changing lives for a better world.”
“When you say, how do you build culture? Know your principles.”
Links mentioned in this episode:
Visit the website for Velentium at https://www.velentium.com/
Purchase Dan’s book, 28 Days to Save the World: https://www.amazon.com/28-Days-Save-World-Crafting/dp/1637741901
Follow Dan Purvis on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/dan-purvis-velentium/
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