Champaign, Ill.-based IntelliWheels Inc. has raised $500,000 to help it develop new technology for wheelchair users. Champaign-based Serra Ventures and San Francisco-based Crestlight Venture Productions provided funding, as did the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance.
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.
About IntelliWheels: 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. Intelliwheels received the prestigious $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Award in 2011.
About University of Illinois Research Park: Research Park at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides an environment where technology-based businesses can work with faculty and students to take advantage of opportunities for collaborative research. Located on campus, the Research Park is home to more than 90 companies, employing 1,400 people in high-technology careers. Publicly traded firms in the Research Park include: ADM, Abbott Laboratories, Caterpillar, Citrix, Deere & Company, Eastman Chemical, Littelfuse, Neustar, Raytheon, Riverbed, Sony, State Farm, and Yahoo. The Research Park is also home to 30+ startup companies that are commercializing technology.