Founder Story | Participant Assistive Products

Black tile with white Participant logo in the centre.

We are thrilled to share the Participant Assistive Products Founder Story featuring CEO and Co-Founder, Keoke King.

Participant is democratising high-quality assistive products and putting them within reach of unserved people, starting with the 70 million people who need but do not have a wheelchair or the mobility, health, inclusion, and dignity that an appropriate wheelchair can provide.

Check out an audio-described version of their story below.

Transcript

[00:06 – 01:55] Keoke King

We’re very committed to co-creation like developing the products with our users and so we try to keep a beginner’s mind. I’m Keoke King, CEO of Participant Assistive Products. We make wheelchairs for children.

So, one of my worst moments was actually visiting a family in Indonesia their daughter had received one of our wheelchairs and I was so happy she was doing well in school but then she graduated and the next school was a short distance from their house that required a drive, but her chair didn’t fold. So transportation was basically impossible and she dropped out. I was crushed. Back home I shared with my friends Dave and Yoda and Dave echoed my experience. He’s an Occupational Therapist in lower income countries many times he said, mothers would be really grateful for the chair but really the chair was not great quality for their child, all of these problems are solvable.

We wanted to take our prototypes to the users and let them give us feedback, really understand their experience and we did that in eleven countries. So we set out, and we named our new benefit corporation participant because we wanted to keep the user’s participation as like our north star.

Affordability is part of the solution but the chair must work in clinical environments where they have thousands of children to serve and it must work for lean supply chains that have fewer players families are going to be called on to do repairs so they need support, video support, and they need to be able to buy parts locally. Recently we visited Karim, in Guaymas Mexico he’s user number one for our new chair, here’s his mom Aline

[01:56 – 02:12] Aline, Karim’s Mother

The first time Karim used it, we felt happy because it met the features he needed. He had already used a stroller and a wheelchair that didn’t meet his needs, so using Cub made everything easier for him.

[02:12 – 02:28] Keoke King

So now, we’re starting to see success there’s new global funding coming along we want to serve a lot of kids, millions of kids really we just want to do our part, to create the products and the supply chain solutions so that none are left behind.

DOWNLOAD A WORD VERSION OF THE TRANSCRIPT HERE.  

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