An innovative lighting solution embedded in a walking aid, a device to measure brain activity for concussions and a medication adherence tool were among the products pitched at a recent early stage venture event. Five companies made presentations, but there was not one technical meltdown. That’s because PowerPoint presentations were banned.
Villanova Entrepreneurs Network founder Richard J. Anthony Sr. says software, particularly PowerPoint, tend to be used as a crutch by startup presentations and are generally a distraction. He founded the early stage ventures and angel investors program 12 years ago, but it became affiliated with the Villanova University Center for Innovation, Creativity & Entrepreneurship last year. Anthony is also entrepreneur-in-residence at the university in Villanova, Pennsylvania, and runs a management consulting firm, The Solutions Network.
Technical Vision’s StreetLight orthopedic cane is designed for low vision users, among them the U.S. elderly population of 79 million people aged 65 or older. The cane’s tiny LED light points down, illuminating the dimensions of a step, curb for example, and could be just as relevant for elderly users walking around at night as well as for people with impaired vision.
Falls are the leading cause of death in people aged 65 or older, according to the Centers for Diseases Control. The cane is expected to be distributed by rehabilitation and occupational therapists to patients. AlthoughCEO Lorraine Keller admits there is plenty of competition in the illuminated cane market, she said its rivals don’t provide the quality of light its cane uses. She claims it uses similar lighting to what is used by the military for its landing strips.
In addition to its illuminated cane, Elkins Park, Pensylvania-based Technical Ventures’ product pipeline includes laser-based optical sensor systems for canes and wheelchairs, scooters and walkers to warn of ground and head level hazards. The company is seeking $250,000 to commercialize the cane, add staff and for marketing. It has raised $185,000 to date.
Lorraine Keller, Technical Vision