Sofie Woge – Tendo
Sofie Woge - Tendo – For people, not symptoms #1
Describe yourself and your project. How did you get the idea?
Tendo started as a project during my education where I took part in a collaboration with NASA, Houston. The initial target group, astronauts, was later changed to those who have a diminished grip strength due to age or sicknesses such as stroke or arthritis. By offering artificial strength for the hands in combination with rehabilitation, Tendo creates freedom and enhanced self-reliance for those who can’t live the life that others take for granted.
Who are you? Previous education/jobs/ experiences etc.
With a multi-disciplinary competence, based on my background as an engineer (from Chalmers) and industrial designs (LTH), I possess an ability to approach a task from a wider perspective. A perspective in which my interest in technology and curiosity for innovation is combined with an understanding for aesthetics, how to create value and an understanding of how design can affect the feeling of being sick. To create for people, not symptoms.
What will you do during these three months? How will you spend the time?
During the summer, I’ll focus on getting the product ready for user-tests. A functional prototype will be built and I will strive to find potential users who are willing to try it. Along with this, I will work on my business plan and seek collaborations with experts and increase my knowledge within the fields of medicine, robotics and entrepreneurship.
What do you expect to achieve during Leapfrogs?
A greater understanding for the life of an entrepreneur, how to build up a winning pitch and to get some valuable time to finish my functional prototype. I see a great opportunity for me to broaden my network and find new inspiration through new dialogues.
Sofie Woge - Tendo – For people, not symptoms #2
Tell us what you have done on your project so far during the Leapfrogs time.
Since 1st of June, I’ve been mainly focusing on optimizing and rethinking my business model and pitching-technique. I’ve participated in a workshop/competition called BarCamper where a great team of Swedish and Italian business experts helped me, and others, to create a clearer and better pitch from an investor’s point of view. Potential users have also been interviewed and I’ve found eight individuals who are willing to help me during my evaluation period (around September).
Has everything gone according to the plan? Has anything unexpected occurred? Has something been easier/harder than expected?
The amount of potential users who are willing to take part of the evaluation was a great, but not necessary expected. In other words; a bit easier than I thought. To find the right assistance, when it comes to building my prototype, is a bit harder though. Mostly since it’s summertime and many companies have too much do or are closed. Something that’s slows down the process.
What will you focus on during the remaining time? Will you follow your original plan or has anything changed along the way?
I will focus on my prototype and my goal is still to have a functional one before the end of August. During the next couple of weeks I have some more interviews planned with potential users from the stroke community. I will also spend more time, than I originally planned, on investigating the market, business and strategies to enhance my understanding of the industry and medical sector.
Sofie Woge - Tendo – For people, not symptoms #3
How did you experience the three months?
To be able to work with my project for three months without having to worry about the income was really relieving and it was a great opportunity to broaden my network and to really work on my pitching.
What has been hardest/most enjoyable?
To practice to pitch in front of others (who will give you feedback) and to do it in a specific time was great and also quite hard. To prioritizes what’s most important and to learn how others sees it and understands it. Especially what might be hard for others to understand.
Did it go as expected? Will you continue working on your project in the future?
Yes, most definitely. I’m currently working on my business strategy and my goal is to have Tendo verified by a group of users in a couple of months, so a lot of exciting things going on!
What would you say is the most important lesson learnt while working on your project?
Thing take a longer time than expected, make room in the budget/time-frame for delays. How a simple hi over a coffee can lead to new important networks and opportunities.
Do you have any tips to other ”new” entrepreneurs?
To just take the step and try out your idea. Make a lot of mistakes and ask for help! Don’t be afraid to tell people about your idea, nobody will know about it if you don’t talk about it. To set up both short and long term goals but also to keep a journal of what you’ve done today/lately to remember the steps you took and goals you reached.