CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — IntelliWheels, Inc., a startup that develops technology to improve mobility options for wheelchair users, has announced it has secured more than $500,000 in funding. It has received venture capital funding from Champaign-based Serra Ventures and San Francisco-based Crestlight Venture Productions; additional support from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) through its Venture Well LLC subsidiary; and angel investors from the Champaign -Urbana community.
The funding will support IntelliWheels’ development of a patent-pending geared wheel for manual wheelchairs, designed to make pushing a wheelchair easier.
In addition to the venture capital funding, IntelliWheels has received a Phase 1 SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) award from the National Institutes of Health. The SBIR award is supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health. It will be directed toward research and development of the automatic transmission for manually propelled wheelchairs, which will be conducted at EnterpriseWorks, the technology business incubator at the University of Illinois Research Park where IntelliWheels is located.
“Through grants, awards and the amazing support of the Champaign-Urbana community, IntelliWheels has made great progress in product development. Closing on this round of funding will allow us to move on to product launch of our geared wheels and get them into the hands of wheelchair users,” said Marissa Siebel, Co-Founder of IntelliWheels, Inc.
IntelliWheels is currently in the final steps of development for its two-to-one geared wheel named the Easy Push, scheduled to be on the market at the start of 2013.
IntelliWheels, Inc., is a startup company out of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that develops technology to improve mobility options for wheelchair users. It was founded by Scott Daigle, a mechanical engineer, and Marissa Siebel, an athletic trainer for wheelchair athletes and doctoral student in community health, in May 2010. Daigle and Siebel met in a motor control lab where they were researching wheelchair propulsion. Intelliwheels received the prestigious $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Award in 2011. For more information visit the Intelliwheels website.
Contact: MARISSA SIEBEL, [email protected], (201)-572-8163
About Serra Ventures
Serra Capital I, L.P. has been formed to provide venture capital to early-stage and emerging technology companies sourced primarily from Illinois, Texas and California by identifying opportunities through the Principals’ extensive relationships with universities, entrepreneurs, centers of influence and investors.
With its headquarters in the University of Illinois Research Park (Champaign, Illinois), the Fund’s objective is to generate higher-than-average, risk-adjusted returns by applying its proprietary investment framework and its mentor/consultative model to companies with innovative technologies. For more information see www.serraventures.com.
About Crestlight Venture Productions
Crestlight Venture Productions challenges the investment status quo by engineering the success of early-stage technology companies. We do this with a revolutionary system that we call “Venture Production”, which is an elegant blend of ‘private equity-like’ hands-on execution and staged investing. This “Venture Production” system is used to actively increase the value of a business by measurably accelerating the company through a series of stages identified to build core strength and sustainable revenue. Once inflection points that focus on customer discovery and validation as well as product protection and scale are identified, the production model then uses specialized teams to jump in and execute. Crestlight is an impact investor that engineers success.
VentureWell is a program of the NCIIA that provides advisory support and seed stage investment funding. NCIIA is a national non-profit that provides grant funding and support to university student innovation teams and to faculty for courses and programs in innovation and entrepreneurship that catalyze technology based scalable inventions that deliver social benefit. For more information see www.nciia.org.