Emile Maamary, SteadiWear co-founder and CFO, alongside Mark Elias, fellow co-founder and the company’s CEO, has developed a battery-free tremor-stabilizing glove designed to reduce the severity of hand tremors. The glove, called the SteadiOne, aims to help users with Parkinson’s and essential tremor disease go about their daily lives more comfortably. i3 recently sat down with Maamary to learn about the startup and this innovative device.
Mark and I met a couple of months after graduating from university and decided we wanted to take an entrepreneurial path. We realized both of our grandmothers had tremors and decided to pursue that because when we did our research, we found there was a major gap in the market. From pharmaceuticals to invasive surgery, there were no real solutions that were well-rounded and lacked side effects. And at this stage, we’ve received feedback from users, and seeing their satisfaction after using our device definitely inspires us to strive forward.
Our aim is to increase users’ confidence and independence to improve their quality of life. In development, it was most important to maintain the battery-free status because we believe that people, seniors especially, are already overwhelmed by learning to operate various technologies, so we wanted to keep it as simple as possible. Because the device is battery-free and non-intrusive, it maintains a Class I status. This allows users to go out and buy it in a pharmacy or online without a prescription or a recommendation. You don’t need to visit a neurologist, which is expensive and is a very time-consuming process in most communities. It’s more accessible than other solutions on the market. We kept it as light as possible, created a specialty design for a customized size range and kept it as cost efficient as possible. We think a lot more people will be able to use this solution than other options out there.
The challenges centered on securing funding. Being a hardware company is not as attractive as being a software company right now. Hardware companies require more logistics and have more supply chain difficulties. Getting a hardware product delivered and made in a structured, cost-efficient manner is very hard. We were fortunate to receive help securing non-dilutive funding that keeps our company both lean and able to hit our targets in a timely manner. It was really fantastic to get so much approval from the community. Because of that, we still hold 100% of the company for now and can maintain our goals in both design and production.
Don’t be afraid to take the risk. Put yourself out there! Navigate all the advice you’re going to receive from different people, be it an investor or a mentor. As long as you can bounce ideas off of like-minded individuals and if you put yourself out there, you will find your idea with time. And get as much feedback as you can. In the early days of a startup, that is critical. Also, seeking as much non-dilutive funding as possible is a great strategy to keep you motivated and maintain a boot-strapping process.