MyQuest Soft AFO

MyQuest Soft AFO

New England Foot Drop Center
Client: Suzanne Malinowski, entrepreneur and ankle foot orthosis user 

People living with foot drop know that wearing some kind of ankle foot orthosis is a necessity to improve their mobility and keep from tripping over their toes.  These braces limit range of motion and greatly limit the types of shoes one can wear. Suzanne Malinowski, who developed foot drop at age 36 as a result of degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis, wanted to get back to all the activities she had previously enjoyed.  She designed a soft brace that allowed her to move about freely wearing a wide variety of shoes styles.  She then tested the prototypes herself and after some success, filed a patent on her invention.

Suzanne turned to TREAT for assistance with developing her product for market and creating a self-sustaining business. Her product met her own needs, but would it fly with potential customers?  With TREAT business guidance, she performed customer discovery interviews that validated the need for her brace and proceeded directly into developing a go-to-market strategy, branding, and financial proforma.  She also determined that, given the option of either modifying their own shoes, finding a cobbler to do it or sending the shoes to Suzanne, customers preferred the do-it-yourself model.

Meanwhile, the challenge of manufacturing was met head on with the help from TREAT’s technology experts.  They got to work planning out the parts manufacturing and developing the DIY instructions and kit components.

Suzanne is now selling her product directly from her New England Food Drop Center website and has a video tutorial for installing the MyQuest Soft AFO.

“The people interviewed, the discovery completed and the challenges resolved during the assistance period were essential for launching a successful product.  The assistance period has confirmed and validated to me that bringing this product to market is the right decision and has a better chance of success.”

To learn more, visit the NEFDC website Watch the MyQuest Soft AFO video tutorial
  • Date December 21, 2017
  • Tags