Inventor Ralf Klinneart envisaged using technology to create a range of engaging, effective and easy to use products aimed at the health, play and physical education markets.
Operating out of a home workshop he had developed a simple wired version of his state-of-the-art training aids to prove his concept workable, but needed assistance in taking his invention from the early planning stage to the point of having a working prototype to demonstrate the concept to potential investors.
Encouraged by Scottish Enterprise, who prompted him to turn his his original idea into a commercial company, Funky Moves, Klinneart needed a solution that could compensate for his a lack of relevant expertise despite not having the funds required to pay for the concept’s continued development.
After successfully applying for the Electronic Design Support Service (EDSS) that ISLI formerly provided to eligible candidates (now replaced by the Dories Scheme), Funky Moves was granted a 3 day free consultancy working with the institute’s team of research engineers to solve the working problems in his design.
The team quickly replaced the visible wire connection between Klinneart’s original units with wireless computer chips and hand-held remote controls, making a reality the inventor’s vision of a highly flexible, completely portable system of programmable cones that could be used to stimulate memory, attention and coordination while also improving agility and fitness.
ISLI also provided assistance in Funky Moves’ application for funding from the Scottish Enterprise Technology Transfer Opportunity Merchanism (TTOM), which enabled the company to access further development grants and research help.
According to Klinneart, ISLI’s role helping him to make the transition from an idea to a prototype that could be shown to potential customers was critical to the success of his company. The institute remained on hand to help him through a further application to the EDSS for £50,000, taking the Funky Moves concept from early prototype to finished product in less than two years.
In addition to achieving significant press coverage, Funky Moves now boasts a growing client base that includes public schools, fitness coaches and professional sports teams around the world. In 2010 the company successfully secured £120,000 in funding from Dragons’ Den entrepreneurs Theo Paphitis and Peter Jones, who are now backing its expansion across Europe.