Liberty MedTech, innovation for mobility-impaired individuals
Institutional Communication Service
12 April 2018
The equation "start-up=innovation" does not always rhyme with "revolution". The term innovation, more appropriately, represents the process of identifying a need and responding to it by finding a solution, perhaps in a different way from what was done before, or with a new concept or approach. The Liberty MedTech startup, for example, was created to solve a concrete problem and thus satisfy a daily need concerning disabled people. The Liberty medical device is a so-called ‘hybrid’ system that features both mobility and rehabilitation functions, through a sophisticated system of levers, pulleys and strands. The dual functionality is the 'innovative' feature of the project, as systems with both functions do not exist on the market.
Technological and scientific progress is not something that occurs by chance, it is more often the result of lengthy “trial and error” processes and, above all, of determination and perseverance. The creators of Liberty MedTech, Antonio Sampaio and Niklaus Stocker, know very well what this means. In the summer of 2016, at the OpenLab workshop – a co-working space for artisans – Stocker and Sampaio launched the project with the latter, in particular, who wanted to find a solution so that his mobility-impaired brother (suffering from muscular dystrophy) could move freely (hence the name 'Liberty') and autonomously on his bed.
The determination and perseverance of Sampaio and Stocker, who started out from scratch and with practically no financial resources, led them to eventually emerge in the world of startups in Ticino and Switzerland. In just two years, in fact, Sampaio and Stocker have earned a number of prizes and awards, such as the StartCup Ticino 2016 (3rd place) and Venture Kick (first stage). Thanks to these awards, which also entail financial support, Liberty MedTech was able to patent the project, in Switzerland and in the EU, and to move on to the following phase, in particular with Fachhochschule Bern (FHS Bern) for the development of a first full-scale prototype that will then be tested at rehabilitation clinics and hospitals. In the current phase, the so-called "coaches" play an important role, in particular the CP Start-up at USI – where Liberty MedTech has been incubated since January 2018 - and the Federal Innosuisse Coaching Acceptance program, which started last December after a careful selection procedure. Last, but not least, to prepare Liberty MedTech for the entrepreneurial world in the best possible way, Antonio Sampaio has joined the USI Executive MBA program.
More on Liberty MedTech: www.libertymedtech.com