Innovative Shelter Company Catches the Army’s Eye

Small Business Spotlight: VisibleGood, @VisibleGood

Who: Tina Newman and John Rossi, co-founders

What: A line of innovative shelters

When: 2012

Where: Newburyport, MA

How: Co-founders Tina Newman and John Rossi recognized the need for lightweight, durable, easy-to-assemble shelters that could be used in a variety of situations.

“We wanted to create innovative shelters – something in between a tent and a trailer, that could be used for medical, military and any other purposes you could think of,” says Rossi. The company’s Rapid Deployment Module (RDM) is used to provide disaster relief and to aid in military missions.

VisibleGood got its start with a round of funding from friends and family, and Newman says the company received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Army.

“It’s easy to transport, to put up, to take down, and it can drop out of a helicopter,” says Newman. Each RDM costs $15,500.

Biggest challenge: Rossi says the biggest challenge is figuring out where to focus the team’s energy. “The market is vast, and we’re dialing in on the best opportunities,” he explains.

One moment in time: Rossi and Newman are proudest of the RDM’s military use, as they both have family members who have served.  “Having a military family, it means a lot to me to develop medical applications for military hospitals, and help save lives,” says Rossi.

Best business advice: “Make integrity your first and foremost value,” says Newman.