In 2012, Nick Potts knew nothing about Ohio. Six years later, he’s the CEO of one of central Ohio’s most rapidly growing startups and has found a home he never expected. A Nashville native, Potts moved to Columbus with his girlfriend with no expectations or concrete plans. He spent three years with influential startup CoverMyMeds and left in 2016 to co-found his own company, ScriptDrop, a prescription delivery service that aims to drive down healthcare costs and reach 1 billion patients. Since then, the company has grown quickly, and is on track for $11 million in revenue and 100 employees at its Columbus office by the end of 2019. The company has partnered with Columbus’ Updox and received support from Rev1 Ventures. We talked to Potts about his entrepreneurial spirit and how he’s creating a winning culture with ScriptDrop.
What was your childhood like?
We grew up in inner-city Nashville, so we definitely didn’t have a lot of money, but I had a good childhood. Both my parents are really blue collar; they didn’t graduate high school or go to college, but they both have an insane work ethic and that was instilled in me at a really young age.
What was your first job?
My first job was mowing grass in the neighborhood. My brother and I bought a really cheap, junky lawn mower and worked with our dad to fix it up. We went around the neighborhood and started mowing yards for the summer. I had that entrepreneurial spirit at a really young age because I knew that we could make more money by doing that than trying to work at the local Baskin-Robbins.
Did you always see yourself as an entrepreneur?
Yes, absolutely. Being an entrepreneur gives you more control of your future and the product. When I was with CoverMyMeds, I tried a number of side businesses and companies and learned from every experience. I even experimented with ideas in high school and college, but I never got significant traction until ScriptDrop. In hindsight, it makes sense to me that I started a company in an area that I know a lot about because of my CoverMyMeds experience, rather than trying to start a social media app or something like that.
What’s it like to watch your first successful company grow?
How far we’ve come in the last 15 months or so is amazing. Looking back, we had just launched with Albertsons and were trying to figure out the logistics. We all knew healthcare and we knew pharmacies, but we did not understand the detailed planning and resources required to move prescriptions, which is essentially half of our company. We’ve come a long way; now we have an entire logistics team and integrations with some of the largest companies in America.
It’s been astounding, and I’m constantly impressed by the strength of our team. We have so much talent here that we can improve and grow without me even knowing it’s happened. That’s when you really start to see the vision crystallize — when you are putting out better and better products.
What’s it been like to grow your company in Ohio?
Prior to moving to Ohio, I had zero preconceived notions; I didn’t know what to expect. I moved here after my girlfriend and got a job at Abercrombie out of college. We’re married now, so it all worked out great. I just took a flier and moved up to Columbus, and what I’ve been able to witness is fantastic. Five or six years ago, the startup community was still burgeoning and starting to grow and mature. Now, it’s incredibly robust. There are several companies scaling their products and raising a ton of money, and the community has been incredibly collaborative, which is something that I love being a part of. I speak to a lot of the other founders of startups in Columbus, and we share stories and advice with one another. Each one of us that is successful helps out the entire community.
How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance, both as a boss and an employee?
We do a couple of things. Once a month, we have essentially a forced off-day. We call it a mental health day. That has been received very favorably and helps establish that work-life balance. We also just make sure that we’re building the right team so that work doesn’t feel overly burdensome or stressful. We don’t want people to say, “I have to go into work on a Monday morning and I’m stressed out the entire Sunday night and I have anxiety.” That makes one single job feel like two jobs if you are in that type of headspace.
Personally, I’m 100 percent a workaholic. I work all the time, but it doesn’t feel like work to me. I’m living my dreams. When you’re doing what you would do for free, it doesn’t necessarily feel like work. Sometimes I go to the movies with my wife or I’ll go for walks to blow off steam. I enjoy going for a walk and just throwing in the headphones and listening to music, especially when the sun is out.
What’s your biggest advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Probably the biggest thing is perseverance. I’ve spoken to other companies about having that perseverance to push through the hard times when you have self-doubt about building the right solution, having the right team or being the right founders. A lot of times, perseverance and continually showing up every day ready to work solves a lot of those issues. Perseverance is the thing that’s gotten us to where we are today.
I hear you had 15 minutes of fame on The Price is Right
When I was at CoverMyMeds, they had a program called CoverMyQuest, a grant program that CoverMyMeds would give a couple of winners a couple of thousand dollars to chase a crazy dream. One of my coworkers pitched going on The Price Is Right and he won the grant. He sent out a company-wide email asking if anyone wanted to go and drew names from a hat to have an all-expenses paid trip to The Price Is Right.
I was selected out of the hat and I put in a bunch of research on the best way to get picked. I was able to get called down when I went, and then I ultimately won everything that I could win that day. I won a car, a vacation, golf clubs, an outdoor patio set, an outdoor lantern and the Showcase Showdown. I had a really awesome experience and now I have a story I can tell for the rest of my life!