Where Are They Now – Get Started Las Vegas Winner R Blank of Shield Your Body

r_blank.jpeg“EMF radiation is everywhere, and it is here to stay,” says R Blank. R Blank is the founder of Shield Your Body, a company dedicated to creating super simple EMF (Electric and Magnetic Field) shielding products. R got the inspiration for Shield Your Body from his father, Dr. Martin Blank who is a professor at Columbia University Medical School and has researched the health effectChief Operating and Financial Officer of EMF radiation for over 30 years. R began designing products to make it easier for people to reduce their exposure to EMF radiation without giving up their technology. Shield Your Body was the winner of the Get Started Las Vegas pitch competition held by Cox Business and Inc. Magazine.  

The Beginning 

The start of Shield Your Body wasn’t so simple, though. R Blank didn’t start out in the EMF industry. He had been an entrepreneur for his entire adult career and spent over 20 years in software development, building applications for companies like Apple, Microsoft, IKEA, and Mattel. He also did a lot of teaching-which he truly enjoyed. He taught web programming at the USC Vertibi School of Engineering while also spending some time on the affiliate faculty at UC Santa Cruz, where he held many private workshops for companies around the world.  

During his time as a software developer, he built a company with a team that expanded to 50 people while growing revenues to over $3 million a year. He was still in his 30s, so in some ways, it definitely still felt like a success to Blank. Unfortunately, he didn’t feel that applications he was building added real value to the world. He had a desire to begin building things that lasted longer and provided more real value to the world.  

That is when he took inspiration from his father. “He’s been involved in EMF research for almost my entire life. That’s one reason why we never had a microwave oven while growing up.  

Beyond little details like that, I wasn’t particularly aware of the EMF situation he’s been trying to shine a light on for so many decades. “ 

Then, back in 2011, Blank’s father began writing his book ‘Overpowered’ about the negative health effects of EMF radiation. He was living in a national forest (in a tiny home, actually) with his wife, and their two dogs and a cat. He was still managing his software company but was seeking a more fulfilling career. His solution was to join in and help his father write that book.  

And that was his breakthrough.  

That is when he became aware of not only the thousands of peer-reviewed scientific studies linking EMF exposure with many negative health effects; infertility, melatonin suppression, blood-brain barrier leakage, and many more – but also of the exponential rate at which EMF-generating technologies were being rolled out into the world, with almost no consideration for the impact on human health.  

Blank also came to realize that the health risks of EMF exposure are quite unique and distinct from other health risks.  

Today’s world is fundamentally dependent on the technologies that emit EMF, whether you’re talking about light bulbs or cell phones or wifi routers or power lines – you just cannot get rid of that stuff.  

For example, you can give up tobacco and still participate in modern society. Even if tobacco was eliminated in society altogether, it would have no real impact on anyone’s day-to-day life.  

But unless we’re willing to back to the stone age, we are stuck with EMF exposure as a fundamental aspect of life. If you want to participate in today’s world, if you want a job or to see a movie, or even just make a phone call, you are going to be exposed to EMF—and in exponentially increasing doses, as more and more of this technology is rolled out.  

As an entrepreneur, Blank realized while it’s impossible to eliminate exposure to EMF, there are ways that he could reduce exposure to EMF radiation. After all, the fundamental technology to block EMF radiation has been around for 180 years; since the creation of the Farady cage.  

Today, advances in technology make it possible to make EMF shielding very small—so small it can be woven into thin pieces of fabric to deflect EMF. That’s when Blank came up with the idea for Shield Your Body. So, he began designing products to make it easier for people to reduce their exposure to EMF radiation without giving up their technology.  

For Blank, it wasn’t an easy process. He had spent 20 years in software development and didn’t have a single iota of experience in physical product design, manufacturing, retail or marketing – all critical skills for what he was trying to take on. He had to devise products that work, source the material, have them tested for effectiveness, find factories, and try to break into a tiny niche market, while producing an effective and affordable product, with expensive sourced materials at a low volume.  

He did this all from a small, little 160 square feet office in the middle of a national forest. Though with him taking on that challenge,  six years later, Shield Your Body has a whole line of products to reduce one’s EMF exposure and they’re now being sold around the world.  

Shield Your Body has certainly grown since the Get Started days. Revenue has multiplied by 12X since they won Get Started.  As a matter of fact, they now gross more in a single month than they had the 18 years combined prior to their win in the pitch competition.

Before the competition, they only had three products in the catalog, were only selling in the United States, and had a provisional patent filing.  Today they have grown the team by adding a product designer, and they have more than a dozen products in the catalog, They also now sell directly to consumers in eight countries: US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and Japan and export to 21 others. Additionally, they are moving forward with the full patent filing on their core technology while obtaining trademark filings in 11 countries and purchasing a smaller underwear company, in order to add EMF-shielded boxers to their product line.  

EMF is truly an appealing industry in today’s society due to the increasing number of studies being released demonstrating links between wireless radiation and numerous negative health outcomes, ranging from sleep deprivation to cancer and infertility. The type of products that Shield Your Body makes are attractive to consumers because they offer a way to use wireless technology without the worry. There is substantial growth potential for this niche market – it’s estimated that the market is doubling every 18 months due to the increasing awareness, and there are no large incumbents or corporations yet competing for that business.  

The biggest obstacle that Shield Your Body has faced has been education. Education concerning people who already have some level of awareness that EMF is a concern, but they don’t understand what EMF is, how it works, what different types of EMF protection devices actually do, or how to test these products to ensure they’re actually working as claimed. Therefore, they’ve invested a lot of time in creating educational content (blog posts, ebooks, marketing sequences, and packaging) in order to communicate information to their customers that is both useful and accessible.  

What’s Up Next   

Shield Your Body is constantly focused on creating new products. The highest priorities for the company are to improve and expand marketing efforts and to increase the number of their distribution channels to reach more potential customers.  

One piece of advice R Blank has for people starting new businesses is, “Find a focus, start small, find what works and what doesn’t work, and then iterate.”