Chongsu Lee, CEO of Pacla Medical
RoboPhysio is an automated spine massage device that attracted over £50,000 in a crowdfunding campaign. Now the product is entered into Innovation Showcase at this year’s Venturefest Scotland. Chongsu Lee tells BQ more about his innovation.
Describe your business in no more than 100 words
Edinburgh-based Pacla Medical is developing Robo-Physio, an automated spine massage device. The company ran a successful crowd-funding campaign, raising more than £50,000, and receiving a seed investment from a Venture Capital.
Product launch of Robo-Physio is planned for October 2017 and we have plans to further develop the product as a medical device, to extend the use of the product to back pain, and enter markets around the globe.
What prompted you to enter the Innovation Showcase competition? Describe the innovation that you’ve entered the showcase with.
The Robo-Physio project is currently towards the end of the product development after we kick-started the journey two years ago. The Innovation Showcase competition in Glasgow is a great opportunity for us to show the result of our two-year hard work. Robo-Physio is an automated spine massage device with 36 robotic fingers. When a user lies on their back on the device, the robotic fingers stimulate the back to relieve stiffness in the spine. The 36 robotic fingers provide consistent and accurate treatment around the centre of spine. The fingers can accommodate different back curvature in shapes and sizes, and thus enable a personalised treatment for customers in their own home.
What are the biggest challenges you face?
The two biggest challenges are how to make the product that customers love to have, and how to build a winning team. If these two challenges are met, then the rest will fall into place.
What are your biggest professional achievements to date?
Every step is a big achievement although it may not be the biggest! We pre-sold 30 units of the product nine months in advance of manufacture. The product cost more than £2,000.
How do you feel about exhibiting to potentially hundreds of people at Venturefest Scotland?
It is a great opportunity for us to engage with other innovators, business people and investors. It will help us to sharpen our presentation and marketing skills. Of course, we are a bit anxious about what others think of our product, but we are looking forward to hearing what they think.
Where do you see your company in five years time?
We will have bases in the UK, USA and Far East whether they are for R&D, manufacture or sales.
What advice would you give to aspiring innovators?
Customer-focused approach is the key to successful innovation, not just at an initial idea stage but throughout the entire product development journey. Make a product that customers are excited about, instead of what you want to invent.