A woman from Aalst is the 2017 Student Entrepreneur of the Year thanks to her creative ways of making crutches and wheelchairs more attractive and user-friendly.
Industrial engineer-designer Marie Van den Broeck has won the award, given by Unizo, the organisation that represents the self-employed in Flanders. Her business, My Add On, “pimps” crutches and wheelchairs to make them more beautiful, comfortable and practical.
Van den Broeck is a graduate of the industrial engineer-developer programme at the Kortrijk campus of Ghent University. She designs and distributes add-ons that users can click on to a crutch or wheelchair.
“She convinced the jury with the creative and innovative way in which she tapped into a whole new market, with products she designed herself,” Unizo said.
Her first product is MySleeve, a kind of sock that can be slid over the handgrips of crutches, to make the handles feel soft and prevent pain in the hands. It also has a built-in magnet, which means users don’t have to bend down to pick up a dropped crutch that fell but can pick it up using the other crutch. Van den Broeck is being helped by incubator-accelerator The Birdhouse in Ghent to expand her business.
By Andy Furniere, journalist, 8 May 2017
https://myaddon.be/#assortiment (see video)