Challenge of the week: take an engineer’s sketch that was drafted in a university laboratory and bring the concept to reality as a product for sale to an end consumer. What approach do you take? What team do you build? What resources do you look for?
As there is no one correct answer, allow us to share with you the story of how we began our journey with the MTip crutch tip.
A long time ago, in a laboratory far, far away… It is a period of thesis writing and defense at the University of South Florida. Rebel students dreaming and sketching in a dark laboratory have developed a bold new use for kinetic shapes and have begun to plot a victory over the entrenched Empire of Thesis Advisors. Using their newly developed kinetic shapes and revolutionary crutch tip design, the Order of the Mobility Research Students were able to emerge successful through their thesis trials and finally close the door on the Dark Ages of Mobility Technology. The Moterum MTip is now widely available, and we want you to experience it and be apart the new world order of mobility technology!
Alright, enough of these Star Wars metaphors, the point we are trying to make is that there were some very smart inventors that dedicated many years to develop a revolutionary new crutch tip design that is truly unlike anything you’ve ever experienced! You can learn more about the inventors’ story and some of the initial reactions from our first customers by clicking here and exploring…but we’re warning you that you might feel left out!
The MTip journey is an epic story of a university technology that progressed from ideation to the marketplace, which is a story that deserves more praise than it often gets, as there are many technologies out there that may make it through a student’s dissertation that look very commercially viable, but sadly fail to see the light of day. A great technology without the right partners and customers never go very far. That is why we need you, our noble customers to partner with us to change the mobility technology market and aid us in evolving the current market offerings for the betterment of all crutch users!
We at Moterum have always had you, our customers, first and foremost in our minds through each iteration of the MTip design, as we are personally driven to improve your day-to-day life through your experience with our product. What we have ended up with is truly remarkable and uniquely designed crutch tip that has been proven to make walking on crutches up to 30% more efficient. Now, that may not sound like much, but for me, that would mean I only need four cups of coffee to get through the day instead of my minimum of six!
Back to the story at hand, let’s fast-forward over the next few years following the initial invention. The kinetic shape technology was realized to have big potential to make a difference in crutch users’ lives and a medical device company (Moterum) partnered with the inventors. With the aid of the inventors, Moterum was able to secure a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, and the technology was perfected over and over again…from Version 1 to Version 9, all the while working towards a product that could be delivered to an end customer at a reasonable cost. The Moterum team went through a great and extremely valuable NSF program (ICORP) where we were intimately involved with crutch users and learned more about the needs of crutch users and how a crutch tip could address those needs. Using the personal stories and data from this study, our company realized how great our product had the potential to be for our customers. New team members were brought into the Moterum family to prepare for product launch and to guide the manufacturing and production designs. At this point in time, a manufacturer was found, initial inventory was purchased, a website was built, and then the product was ready for sale! We won’t lie and say that countless lessons weren’t learned along the way, as well as the normal highs and lows you would expect out of an entrepreneurial journey. One of the top lessons we learned is that you always must ask questions, challenge your assumptions, and then act on the facts.
There is no single correct way to bring a product to market to avoid the road blocks waiting along the way, but with the efforts of a great team, you sure can make great progress! But once again, the most important member of the Moterum team is and will always be you! Our customers and the people whose lives we have fought to improve through our products will always be the greatest asset to us! With your help, we can grow and spread the word about a great new company, who may like science fiction movies a bit too much, but nevertheless has a great new product that you simply must try or are already loving! Please click the links below to follow us on social media, so that you can stay up to date as our story progresses and share in our successes! After all, you wouldn’t want to miss out when the Moterum MTip travels with Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons to conquer Westeros in our next Game of Thrones inspired metaphorical episode….