Keoke King, CEO and Co-Founder of Participant Assistive Products.
Participant Assistive Products is democratizing high-quality assistive products and putting them within reach of unserved people, starting with the 70 million people who need but do not have a wheelchair or the mobility, health, inclusion, and dignity that an appropriate wheelchair can provide.
[00:23 – 03:26] Keoke King
So at Participant, we’re democratizing quality assistive products, starting with an all-terrain wheelchair for children.
Meet Karim from Guaymas, Mexico. Until recently, the best mobility that Karim’s family could access was a common baby stroller. It was causing problems in his arms and his posture. Now Karim is user number one for Cub, our award winning tilt and fold all terrain wheelchair. It snuggles into a small car. It loves unpaved roads and it leads the industry in Expandability. So as Karim grows, Cub grows with him. Aline, Karim’s mom, reports he’s more present in their family’s daily life. At school, he can be more together with his classmates. He joins them at the table. And because he can sit up longer, he’s more integrated into family meals and daily activities. She says everything has changed a lot. Karim represents the 40 million people in middle income countries who are stuck at home just because they need a wheelchair and don’t have one.
The World Bank projects that this massive group will double over the next 20 years, and rigorous research shows that $1 invested returns nine to society. Without mobility, there is little access to education, work and friendships. The rwa power of this need makes me ask why are they left behind? The industry offers few mid-price options. Manufacturers opt for cheap, low quality products, or they make sophisticated high margin products for markets with deep insurance funding for the 40 million people in the middle, no products that fit their needs or wallets.
Hi, I’m Keoke. CEO of Participant. In my last job, I founded a global wheelchair distributor company and I saw this product gap. To learn more, I called my friend Dave, an occupational therapist and wheelchair user who has trained providers in 20 countries. And I talked with Ryota, who’s the CEO of a wheelchair company in California. He has hundreds of designs and a half million people use his chairs today. Our combined skills and networks were fit for the challenge. And we saw a wave building. New government buyers and expanding NGO procurement. So we set out as co-founders. Fast forward to today. Our global team is eight people, four who use wheelchairs and together we have 115 years of industry experience and we speak ten languages. We offer four wheelchair models and a cushion. Our products are good on rough terrain, transportable, durable and clinically sound.We price attractively and sustainably with a gross margin to fuel growth. Our production capacity is 100,000 units per year and we intend to serve a million users by 2030. That wave that I mentioned is here just as our products are shipping, we may have that rarest of things, timing. Large NGOs are jumping in from the sidelines and several established buyers are switching.
We have strong forecasts in all five of our products with reputable customers and distributors on both the global and national levels. We’re driven by these market signals and the incredible impacts. If you share our vision and values, we’re preparing a Round and I would love to meet you. Help us help Kerim and his 40 million friends who deserve mobility, inclusion and participation.
DOWNLOAD A WORD VERSION OF THE TRANSCRIPT HERE.