The airbag of WOLK Company receives first UNIIQ investment

News - 23 September 2016 - business@tudelft.nl

The recently launched investment fund UNIIQ introduced on August 23, 2016, with the opening gong, its first two investments. One of the two investment is for WOLK Company who developed an airbag that protects the hip when falling down.

Airbag prevents hip fractures resulting from falls

WOLK Company is a startup located in The Hague, which was established by Filippo van Hellenberg Hubar and Mendes Hogestyn, who are two former students from the Technical University of Delft (TU Delft), and Leiden developer Hans Schröder. Their product - the 'WOLK' airbag - arose from the personal experience of one of the founders. Falls are the most common cause of injury in the elderly. The severity of falls among the elderly is evident from the high direct medical costs related to the large number of emergency treatments, hospitalizations and deaths. WOLK Company has developed an easy-to-wear airbag belt that protects the elderly from possible hip injuries in case of a fall.

WOLK Proof of Principle Short

“UNIIQ’s investment makes it possible to further develop and test the WOLK in a pilot project focused on 100 vulnerable seniors, in five health care institutions,” stated Van Hellenberg Hubar and Hogestyn. "The completion of the prototype development is scheduled for November. The pilot phase will take place in the first quarter of next year, and it is expected that WOLK will be introduced on the market in the second half of 2017."

From left to right: Filippo van Hellenberg Hubar (WOLK Company), Liduina Hammer (UNIIQ), Hans Schröder (WOLK Company) © Daniel Verkijk

"UNIIQ is pleased to add WOLK Company as one of the first investments in its portfolio," said Liduina Hammer, UNIIQ’s Fund Manager. "With UNIIQ’s investment, WOLK Company can further test the predictive values of its fall detection algorithm, which was developed at TU Delft, and improve the design of a fully functional prototype," stated Hammer.

The other investment was made in Adjuvo Motion with their innovation the 'S-sense' - a smart sensor glove for hand-wrist rehabilitation. Gijs den Butter and Johannes Luijten - two former TU Delft students - are the founders of the startup Adjuvo Motion, located at YES!Delft. The smart glove encourages patients to use the injured hand in daily activities, and ensures that the patient at home can follow the same quality treatment as given in a clinical setting. With the aid of a digital platform, the healthcare professional is able to monitor the progress of the patient through an online portal. Monitoring the patient’s progress enables the care professional to optimize the patient’s training schedule remotely. This cost-effective rehabilitation offers many advantages for both the patient and the healthcare professional.

About UNIIQ
UNIIQ is € 22 million investment fund focused on the proof-of-concept phase. UNIIQ helps entrepreneurs in the province of South Holland bring their unique innovation to market faster. UNIIQ offers entrepreneurs the seed money to realize their plans, and bridges the riskiest phase from concept to promising business. A consortium, including Erasmus MC, TU Delft, Leiden University and the regional development agency InnovationQuarter, created the fund. UNIIQ is made possible by the European Union. More about UNIIQ on uniiq.nl