Pittsburgh has an abundance of talented entrepreneurs and innovative startups. Joining us today on Coffee With is Kelly Collier, founder and CEO of ActivAided Orthotics, a medical device startup that produces flexible, supportive posture-correcting clothing. ActivAided has revolutionized the traditional medical brace into a product that allows for non-restrictive therapy, providing impressive support and rehabilitation without sacrificing flexibility or comfort. Collier launched the company from the ground up, their product initially developed for her senior project at Carnegie Mellon.
ActivAided first saw development in the form of a class project for Collier, a then Materials Science and Biomedical Engineering student at CMU. An avid swimmer, Collier’s back pain problems became the catalyst for the project which was developed by a physician Dr. Gary Chimes, Collier and her peers as a senior project at Carnegie Mellon University. Unlike her classmates, Collier gave herself additional homework when she incorporated the assignment into a post-graduate business.
Since founding ActivAvided Orthotics, Collier has become a specialist in commercializable product development and has expertise in all stages of the process. Whether it be design, manufacturing, scalability, or distribution, Collier possesses the business prowess to efficiently tackle any aspect of business growth and operations. Collier’s efforts enabled her to collect honors as the U. S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Western Pennsylvania Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
Kevin White, Pittsburgh SBA district director, commented that Collier is an entrepreneur who identified the solution to a problem. He said, “Her back problems led her to turn this project into a business that helps correct posture in a non-restrictive form.” Collier’s transformation from student to entrepreneur is characteristic of the incredibly innovative business environment in Pittsburgh.
Want to learn more about the origins, development, and lessons learned from ActivAided? Tune into this episode of Coffee With. Since this blog post and video the company was acquired by Elizur.