How MiracleCord translates cutting‐edge research into lifesaving services and uses Automated Recurring Billing to easily accept payments.
Faced with a tough diagnosis of a loved one, a family listened to their physician explain the treatment options that were available. When told that a cure could come in the shape of a stem cell transplant, they explored this option with bright hopes for the future.
Unfortunately, a suitable stem cell match could not be found and in the end the disease won, but the idea that being able to provide other families a miracle if they were ever in a similar situation breathed hope into an idea for a business venture. That business came to be MiracleCord.
We chatted with Mark Locascio, Founder and CEO of MiracleCord, about how his business was started, the value of cord blood, what he wishes he would have known when starting out, and more.
Tell us about MiracleCord.
MiracleCord is a private cord blood and cord tissue stem cell bank. We are dedicated to translating cutting‐edge research into lifesaving services, and to providing ongoing, advanced education on the value of cord blood and cord tissue stem cells.
MiracleCord gives families greater access to future medical treatment options by offering private cord blood banking and cord tissue banking services at affordable prices. The company was established to give families the peace of mind that comes with knowing that their baby’s cord blood and cord tissue stem cells will be readily available should a transplant be needed to save a family member’s life.
How did MiracleCord get its start?
I had a close family member that was diagnosed with Leukemia at age 39. She was a vibrant mother and wife that loved running, art, and her family more than anything. We were devastated the day our family learned about her diagnosis.
Her doctors said the cure could come in the form of a stem cell transplant if a match could be found. Our family was relieved to hear that a cure was possible, and we had hope for the future.
An exhaustive search of the public cord blood banks was executed by her doctors, but unfortunately a suitable match was not available. Though she battled on, the disease claimed her life in less than a year. It was a tremendous loss for my family.
The inspiration for MiracleCord came out of my desire to help other families facing similar challenges.
What makes MiracleCord unique?
MiracleCord leads the industry with the unique ability to process umbilical cord blood and cord tissue specimens within 12 hours after collection with our TimeCritical® processing. Other U.S. companies reported average times from collection to processing of 24 hours or more.
Studies show that processing within 12 hours of collection versus 24 hours yields 67% more mono-nucleated cells and 2.8x more colony forming units1. The reason this is important is that studies show having greater numbers of cord blood stem cells at the time of transplant correlates to transplant success and patient survival rate2,3.
Tell us about your customers.
Our customers are expecting parents who are passionate about protecting the health of their family from potential life-threatening medical conditions. By saving their baby's cord blood and cord tissue they get peace of mind knowing their child’s stem cells may provide the best chance of survival, recovery, and a renewed quality of life if a serious disease or condition arises. At the same time, we have the satisfaction of knowing that we are offering our services at affordable prices for growing families.
How does it feel to be able to provide this service to people?
It is very rewarding knowing the services we provide saves lives, or dramatically improves the quality of peoples’ lives, of those that need a stem cell transplant.
How did it feel to start a new business and what was the process like?
It took a lot of time and effort to start the company and get it 'off the ground’. I did due diligence for more than one year before even deciding to move forward. After that, the real work started.
What advice would you give someone starting their own business?
Do your due diligence and be prepared for a lot of hard work. It can sometimes take years before a company becomes profitable, so either have financial backing in place or enough savings to fund the company, and survive without taking money out of the company, during the initial period of growth to profitability.
How has it been working with Authorize.net?
We have been working with Authorize.net for many years and have had a great experience. The customer service has been outstanding, which in today’s world is rare. Every time we have contacted Authorize.net a knowledgeable representative has always been available quickly to fully answer our questions in a professional manner.
The Authorize.net automated recurring billing feature has been a great time-saver for our billing department and our customers. It allows us to set up recurring billing for our customers that are on payment plans, and for our customers that have chosen to have their annual payments processed automatically.
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give yourself starting out?
Our company is in such a competitive space, so I might have said to myself “find another industry.”
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Strong work ethic, tenacity, and good organizational skills.
Find out more about MiracleCord by visiting their website.
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1 Shlebak AA, Marley SB, Roberts IAG, Davidson RJ, Goldman JM, Gordon MY. 1999. Optimal timing for processing and cryopreservation of umbilical cord hematopoietic stem cells for clinical transplantation. Bone Marrow Transplantation 23: 131-136
2 Heimfeld S. (2003). Bone marrow transplantation: how important is CD34+ cell dose in HLA-identical stem cell transplantation? Leukemia (17) 856-858
3 Wagner JE, Barker JN, DeFor TE, Baker KS, Blazar BR, Eide C, Goldman A, Kersey J, Krivit W, MacMillan ML, Orchard PJ, Peters C, Weisdorf DJ, Ramsay NKC, Davies SM. 2002. Transplantation of unrelated donor umbilical cord blood in 102 patients with malignant and nonmalignant diseases: Influence of CD34 cell dose and HLA disparity on treatment-related mortality and survival. Blood 100 (5): 1611-1618