A Shaky Start
First let me introduce myself… I’m Andy… Hi…
To be frank I have never written a blog before and I am unsure of precisely how to go about it, however we all must start somewhere and here is as good as place as any so far as I can tell.
If you are reading this blog and you have read the about us page on this website, you will know that I am one of 3 mechanical engineering graduates from The University of Sheffield who are attempting to start a company designing medical devices. This, for me personally, was born out of a deep seated desire to make a positive impact on peoples lives using the skills and knowledge that I picked up during university.
The Journey So Far
Every day in a startup is an experiment and a learning curve; you ask questions and respond to the answers, you build your network, you build up your knowledge, and you build up your infrastructure. You are your own boss, you are your own trainer, and your own motivator. It is a slog, but is a rewarding and exciting one, alive with the possibilities for where it might take you (all the while you are looking around for the potential pitfalls that may draw you in and trip you up).
Much of what we have been doing, and will continue to do, can be summed up in the ever enduring phrase “Build, Measure, Learn” and a similarly prevalent phrase “Network, Network, Network” combined with a constant planning and evaluation process (without long term goals, medium term goals and a roadmap of how to realise them, the build measure learn process and the networking can quickly drift off course).
Where We Stand
We have a name, we have a vision, and we have a growing network of clinicians, patients and potential collaborators.
Our name, exyo, is short for express yourself. It is a declaration of our purpose. We are aiming for is design that empowers people to express themselves as a result of using our devices.
Our vision, from where we are standing, we see a sector full of cumbersome and stigmatising designs that stopped being designed at the point of functionality. We do not accept that this is where medical devices should be, we believe that medical devices should be uplifting rather than depressing, they should be desirable to own. We also believe that medical devices should be accessible to those who need them. Our vision allows us to plan our next steps with a clear direction in mind.
Our network will enable us to achieve our vision, and ensure we have a complete, holistic solution, they provide perspective, experience, and a sense of community to our projects. It is immensely encouraging to know that other people share our desire to realise our vision, and we want to keep adding to that number. Communities with a cause can achieve so much.
Where We Are Going
As we come out of our internal basement prototyping and experimenting embryo and take our first few brave steps into the light of collaborative progress, we must survey the landscape as we will be surveyed by our collaborators and by our competitors. Certainly we will strive towards our vision, however that is likely to shift and change as we learn and grow in understanding of our sector, and we still have a lot to learn.
As far as our immediate goals go, they concern Louis’ Walker. We are currently prototyping and we aim to have an alpha prototype ready in the near future, with a plan to test and tweak and improve once it is ready.
The really exciting milestone in our future is connection with and building of a crowd of supporters and collaborators. A coalition of the willing. This blog is the start of that, as the title states, its with trepidation that this is posted. The first push of this collaborative effort will be a crowdfunding effort, probably starting around February/March time, and it will be in that crucible that our future will likely be somewhat determined as our options are presented to us.
… wish us luck…