Levaté: Restoring reach for manual wheelchair users
Levaté: Restoring reach for manual wheelchair users
Levaté is a light, portable, easily detachable pneumatic lift for manual wheelchair users that increases their reach by 12-18 inches.
Levaté is a light, portable, easily detachable pneumatic lift for manual wheelchair users that increases their reach by 12-18 inches. Read more
Who we are
We're five passionate inventors and advocates from Oklahoma trying to change the way manual wheelchair users deal with the reach related issues they face on a daily basis. You can find more on each individual team member at the bottom of our homepage, www.levatelift.com.
What we're building
The Levaté Wheelchair Lift is an innovative, easily attachable add-on for manual wheelchairs. By lifting the entire wheelchair 12-18 inches, users can overcome the reach related difficulties they face on a daily basis. This includes reaching extra shelves, cabinets, and countertops, transferring in and out of their wheelchair to their car or bed, and even having a face to face conversation with someone at standing height. You can find more information about Levaté at www.levatelift.com.
The $30,000 we're raising on Kickstarter is crucial for us to begin work with our product design partners, Soulcake Creative.
To be clear, the total design fee to work with Soulcake Creative is estimated to be $100,000. However, we are pursuing other funding avenues to match with the money we raise from Kickstarter. Here is what the relationship with Soulcake will look like:
- Phase 1, Finalize Conceptual Design. Soulcake will take the work we've done and finish scoping out the design objectives.
- Phase 2, Detailed Design and Prototyping. This will finalize all the details, and create an "alpha" lift that is a fully functioning device that incorporates the industrial design as well.
- Phase 3, Manufacturer Sourcing and Design for Manufacturing. This is the final step, where we'll be gearing up to get the Levaté units manufactured. Soulcake will work with the manufacturer to get 8-10 "beta" units to ensure that once full scale production starts, the Levaté units will function as intended right off the assembly line.
We are incredibly excited to work with Soulcake to finalize the Levaté lift. They are an innovative studio with a history of successful products under their belt. For example, they successfully revived the dying Cobra golf brand to the point where it was acquired by Puma.
With the work with Soulcake wrapping up in about 10 months time, our goal is to pursue manufacturing the wheelchair lift towards the end of 2015.
Thank you so much for your support!
Please consider contributing and supporting our efforts to improve the reach, and independence, of wheelchair users all across the United States! We are eternally grateful to each and every supporter. Even if you cannot make a financial contribution at this point, please share our Kickstarter on social media. We will do our best to be as clear and transparent about everything along the way. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to reach out!
Of course, if you do contribute, we will have some pretty awesome prizes available! To give you an idea of the general design of the prizes, take a look at our anticipated T-shirt:
What the name means
While brainstorming possible names, the team took the E off of "Elevate" for Levate. We quickly realized that Levate in Spanish means "lift yourself", and decided to stick with the name because of its double meaning. Finally, we added the accent over the final e so that it would be clear that it was not a silent letter.
Committed to improving lives
The Levate team is in this to restore the reach and independence of wheelchair users across the United States, and beyond.
Once the lift units have been manufactured and are ready to be sold, we will donate 2% from the sale of each Levaté Lift unit to a charity such as the Free Wheelchair Mission to make sure everyone has the assistive devices they need to lead a independent life.
Longer video with comments from wheelchair users
Risks and challenges
Kickstarter will be an answer to our prayers if you help us reach this campaign goal. We wish $30,000 were enough to complete this project, but it is enough to get it started. We've been working tirelessly to secure grants and private investment to fund the rest and will continue to do so through the duration of the project and beyond until we are fully funded.
2. Design changes.
As we begin work with Soulcake, it is very possible that the design and form of the lift changes significantly in order to best meet the unique requirements of the product. We have full faith in Soulcake that they can meet the various criteria we've given them for the Levaté Lift, and they have the track record to prove it. We fully expect that they will create the best possible solution, and a beautiful one at that, which may look different from our concept drawings and prototypes. We will keep all backers informed of any changes as they occur.
It is tough work getting a new product to market. The cofounders of Levaté, Ethan and Dillon, are dedicated to seeing this product through to success. They are working full time and living off savings in order to learn the skills and build the relationships and framework for this project to ultimately be successful.
- (40 days)