Cheelcare has been working with ventureLAB for the last three years, developing their assistive mobility device through rapid prototyping and collaborative efforts as a team. We took a few minutes to find out how Cheelcare is growing, and what’s next!
What does your company do and how are you using technology to do it?
Cheelcare develops a line of modern multifunctional mobility devices utilizing the latest technology to improve independence and quality of life of disabled people who use mobility devices without the need of costly additional devices. Cheelcare’s patented technology and engineering solution provides multi-functionality that directly benefits the user with the possibility of different body position configuration by tilting, reclining, full-flat, height adjustments, as well as focuses on improved safety, comfort and dignity features.
What inspired you to start your company? Was there a specific problem you felt compelled to solve?
Cheelcare founders Dima and Eugene had personal reasons to become engaged with the assistive mobility industry. Both started looking at ways to use their technical and business expertise to marry modern engineering solutions and contemporary design to develop revolutionary mobility devices that would enhance the reach of the disabled people.
They realized that disabled people need many different devices to perform daily tasks, and many of these tasks are limited or impossible due to the frames imposed by the current state of the technology applications in the industry.
Moreover, they realized that the negative perception toward the disabled community is due in part to the outdated technology used on mobility devices, as well as total lack of modern design on devices that would promote the independence of device users as active members of the community.
If you had to pick three tools for your business that you couldn’t live without, what would they be and why?
1) The Team, 2) The Team, 3) The Team.
The dedication and motivation of each of Cheelcare’s team members is what’s driving our company forward. It took us just 2 years to get from proof of concept to fully functional pre-production model (prototypes 8 and 9).
Why did you decide to keep your company in York Region? What is it about this region that makes you stay?
The support of organizations such as ventureLAB, the Town of Richmond Hill and the community were, and still are, crucial to our company’s milestones achievements.
What has working in the IBM Innovation Space – Markham Convergence Centre done for your company?
Networking with other start-up companies, sharing ideas, learning new ways helped to drive the company forward.
How has working with ventureLAB helped your company to scale?
Cheelcare began its relationship with ventureLAB in May 2015 when the company started. Through industry-related and general business workshops, one-on-one mentorship and professional counsel, ventureLAB helped Cheelcare develop a sustainable business plan and marketing strategy. ventureLAB guided the team on IP protection strategy, provided invaluable insight, guidance and mentoring support that was crucial to Cheelcare’s development.
“Moving from a multi-billion dollar business environment to a start-up atmosphere presented its challenges. ventureLAB provided invaluable support and guidance to smooth out the change and open the gates to the vibrant, innovative community of entrepreneurs and startups.” Eugene Cherny – Cheelcare CEO and founder.
If you had one piece of advice for a founder or business owner, what would it be?
Persevere, surround yourself with passionate people, meet other founders, ask a lot of questions and listen carefully to the answers. Share your successes and failures. Fail often and fail fast.