Fresh Capital for DESINO

March 6, 2014

High-Tech Gründerfonds and business angel Dieter Lorenzen finance first wheelchair with dynamic seating system.

With the completion of the first financing round the DESINO GmbH took a definite step towards attaining their objective of making the sitting more comfortable for wheelchair users. High-Tech Gründerfonds as well as business angel Dieter Lorenzen will hence forward support the project of this enterprise which was founded in Cologne in 2012. The DESINO GmbH was able to convince investors of the idea of a novel lever system and a dynamic seat/backrest. The capital facilitates the technological development of the system and therefore allows for a market entrance in the first half of 2015.

The Enterprise was founded by engineer Roman Pagano, graduate sport scientist Daniel Levedag and designer Thyl Junker, after being supported by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology through the start-up grant EXIST. In cooperation with Köln International School of Design (KISD), RWTH Aachen and the German Sports University Cologne DESINO develops a novel seating system for wheelchairs, which keeps spine and back muscles in continuous motion. This motion is based on the movement of a walking person and is additionally supported by a new lever propulsion system.

“Oftentimes customers are expected to adapt to products,” says Thyl Junker. ” Whereas, I, as product designer always saw my challenge in attaining the opposite. The product should, if possible, always be adapting itself to the customer.”

This approach will make dynamic seating possible for wheelchair users, which will work against the prevalent back pain and postural defects. At the same time a combination of handrim and lever propulsion increases the social radius of action as well as freedom of mobility. In doing so, the folding mechanism of the wheelchair is preserved “, adds Roman Pagano.

“High-Tech Gründerfonds is totally convinced of the concept of the DESINO GmbH”, says Kay Balster, Investment Manager of the HTGF. “The novel system and the hybrid propulsion present an unprecedented alternative and therefore holds high innovation potential.”

Thus, dynamic seating systems are already established in the office furniture industry. DESINO’s objective is now to make this also available to the persons, who demonstrably spent the most time in a seating posture. “This product will facilitate the lives of many wheelchair users,” states business angel Dieter Lorenzen.

Multiple discussions with users and experts show, that DESINO will prevail on a market, which among other things defines itself by steady innovation.

DESINO was founded by Thyl Junker, Daniel Levedag and Roman Pagano in November of 2012. In 2013, the team, composed of a designer, an engineer and a sport scientist won the first prize of the NUK Business Plan competition. In cooperation with the Paraplegia Centre in Godeshöhe, RWTH Aachen and German Sport University Cologne the concept of the seating system was further elaborated and improved.

Dipl.-Sportwiss. Daniel Levedag
Marketing Manager
Lichtstraße 43 d
D-50825 Köln
Tell:  +49 221 222 033 82
Fax:  +49 221 222 033 84
Mobil: +49 157 725 106 15

About High-Tech Gruenderfonds
High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests in young, high potential high-tech start-ups. The seed financing provided is designed to enable start-ups to take an idea through prototyping and to market launch. Typically, High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests EUR 500,000 in the seed stage, with the potential for up to a total of EUR 2 million per portfolio company in follow-on financing. Investors in this public/private partnership include the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, the KfW Banking Group, as well as strategic corporate investors including ALTANA, BASF, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, CEWE, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik, Lanxess, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, METRO, Qiagen, RWE Innogy, SAP, Tengelmann and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gruenderfonds has about EUR 573.5 million under management in two funds (EUR 272 million HTGF I, EUR 301.5 million HTGF II).

High-Tech Gruenderfonds Management GmbH
Kay Balster
Schlegelstrasse 2
53113 Bonn
Phone: +49 (228) 823 001-00
Fax: +49 (228) 823 000-50


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