Nova Scotia-based Spring Loaded Technology is developing bionic knee braces that improve mobility, rehabilitation and performance.
Besides helping people with leg-mobility issues, the braces will help prevent injuries and enhance performance for athletes, manual labourers and military personnel.
The company will use a $270,000 seed investment from Innovacorp for product development and to help take its two product lines to market. Innovacorp is Nova Scotia’s early stage venture capital organization.
“Our technology has a significant advantage over the existing competition,” said Spring Loaded CEO, Chris Cowper-Smith. “Our compact braces can directly assist the user’s mobility by storing energy when the user bends their knee, and then releasing that energy to help straighten the leg, for example, while standing from a seated position.”
Spring Loaded is led by Mr. Cowper-Smith, a PhD candidate at Dalhousie University with expertise in neuroscience and kinesiology, and Bob Garrish, an engineer and mathematician with masters degrees in mechanical engineering and mathematics.
To support research and development, the company has raised $1.8 million, including money from private investors. Innovacorp’s investment includes $20,000 in equity awarded to Spring Loaded after it was named a zone winner in Innovacorp’s 2013-14 I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition.
Spring Loaded’s A-Series knee braces will enhance performance and prevent injury in athletes, manual labourers and military personnel. The M-Series braces will be used to help rehabilitate knee and leg problems.
“Knee injuries and osteoarthritis are the leading causes of life-changing, lower-extremity movement disabilities,” said Michael Dennis, investment manager at Innovacorp. “Spring Loaded’s unique technology has the potential to improve the quality of life for so many people. We’re looking forward to working with the Spring Loaded team as they build their product and roll it out to the marketplace.”