Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Emile Maamary, Co-Founder of Steadiwear Inc, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Essential Tremor is a debilitating movement disorder affecting 10 million North Americans and 200 Million people worldwide. Uncontrolled hand tremors make simple everyday tasks difficult, drastically reducing seniors' independence and quality of life. Conventional treatments are limited to costly off-label medications, which only work for 40% of those affected, wrist strain-inducing weighted objects, or brain surgery - accompanied by an average annual out-of-pocket cost burden of 2000 US dollars per patient in North America alone.
Steadiwear's flagship product is the Steadi-Two, a battery-free glove that stabilizes the wrist joint for individuals with Essential Tremor. The Steadi-Two technology was inspired by leading-edge earthquake dampers used in buildings. The Steadi-Two is based on magnetic-tuned damping technology, a novel class of stabilization systems. It consists of a counterbalancing flywheel in between programmable magnets. The system naturally adapts to different tremor severities.
The Steadi-Two glove is registered with the FDA & Health Canada as a Class I medical device. The Steadi-Two allows seniors with tremors to manage their daily activities again, improving both freedom and well-being while cutting down on financial costs associated with this condition.
Tell us about yourself
The success of any startup is heavily reliant on its founders' complementary skill sets, passion, and drive. In the case of our company, Mark and I bring a unique combination of expertise and experience to the table. With his background in structural engineering and entrepreneurship, Mark brings a strong technical and strategic mindset to the team. On the other hand, my background in marketing and management provides a valuable perspective on branding, communication, and customer engagement.
Our personal connection to essential tremors was what brought us together in the first place. In 2014, we were introduced as neighbors and soon discovered that both of our families were affected by tremors. This shared experience created a strong sense of compassion and a deep desire to help others who were also struggling with this condition. It became clear to us that we had the opportunity to make a significant impact by developing groundbreaking tremor stabilization technology.
Since then, we have worked tirelessly to bring our vision to life, combining our respective strengths to create a company that is passionate about revolutionizing the tremor space. Our shared commitment to improving the lives of those affected by essential tremors has fueled our resolve, inspiring us to push the boundaries of what is possible in medical technology. With our complementary skill sets, personal connection to the cause, and unwavering determination, we are driving our company forward and leading the charge toward a better future for those with essential tremors.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Starting a new business in the medical device industry can be a challenging and complex process. For a first-time founder, it requires not only a deep understanding of the medical technology landscape but also a significant amount of determination, creativity, and strategic thinking. Despite these challenges, our company was able to secure over USD 2M in funding to develop a revolutionary new technology that stabilizes tremors in over 2000 users, partnering with some of the world's largest clinics and healthcare systems.
We are incredibly proud of these accomplishments, which are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team. Our technology has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people suffering from essential tremors and Parkinson's disease, providing them with greater independence and quality of life.
Looking ahead, we are excited to continue expanding our footprint globally with a wider product pipeline that includes more activity-specific devices like the Steadi-Cup, Steadi-Spoon, and Steadi-Pen. These devices are designed to help people with essential tremors and Parkinson's disease perform everyday tasks with greater ease and confidence. We are committed to advancing the field of medical technology and making a positive impact on the lives of people around the world.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Finding a work-life balance when you are running your own business can be incredibly challenging. On the one hand, you are passionate about your business and want to do everything you can to ensure its success. On the other hand, you have personal and family commitments that require your attention and can make it difficult to devote all of your time to your business. Additionally, when you are responsible for the success of your business, it can be challenging to know when to switch off and take a break.
Balancing the demands of your business and personal life can be particularly challenging because of the pressure to keep customers and investors happy. Customer satisfaction is essential for the success of any business, and you need to ensure that you are delivering a high-quality product or service while maintaining good customer relationships. Investors also expect a return on their investment, which can mean putting in extra hours to meet deadlines or push for growth. All of this can add up to a high cost, in terms of time, energy, and personal sacrifices.
However, if implemented correctly, finding a work-life balance can lead to significant pay-offs. By taking time for yourself and your family, you can recharge and approach your work with fresh energy and creativity. This can lead to better decision-making, increased productivity, and, ultimately, more success for your business. Additionally, by taking a balanced approach to work and life, you can avoid burnout and maintain your passion for your business in the long run.
Ultimately, finding a work-life balance when running your own business requires careful planning, prioritization, and communication with your team, customers, and investors.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Starting a new business can be an exciting but challenging endeavor, and it requires careful planning and preparation to ensure success. Here are three key steps that you should consider when starting a business:
- Survey your customers and other stakeholders: Before committing to starting a business, it's crucial to understand the needs and preferences of your target audience. Conducting market research and surveys can provide valuable insights into what your potential customers are looking for in a product or service. Additionally, it's important to gather feedback from other stakeholders, such as suppliers, distributors, and investors, to better understand the competitive landscape and potential opportunities and challenges.
- Bootstrap and seek non-dilutive funding: One of the biggest challenges for new businesses is securing funding to develop and launch their first prototype. To avoid diluting your ownership or giving up equity too early, it's essential to look for non-dilutive funding sources such as grants, competition prizes, and stipends. Additionally, bootstrapping your business can help you maintain control and focus on building a sustainable, profitable company.
- Build a reliable team and seek relevant advisors: As your business grows, you'll need to rely on a team of talented and dedicated individuals who can help you achieve your goals. Make sure to invest time in building a strong, cohesive team with complementary skills and experiences. Additionally, seek out advisors who have relevant industry experience and can provide valuable insights and guidance as you navigate the challenges of starting a new business. Without a reliable team and relevant advisors, you may find yourself overwhelmed and unable to make progress effectively.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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