New technology from startup ventures is transforming the global sports industry. This Startup Series has introduced over 200 startup companies in the sports technology space to a broader audience by allowing Founders of promising new ventures to tell their story and pitch their idea. Feel free to submit your startup’s answers to the below questions or contact us if you know of a startup that should be considered for inclusion in this series.
Company name: Protonics Technologies
Founder(s): Frank Joutras
Headquarters: Lincoln, Nebraska
1. What is your elevator pitch?
The PROTONICS T2 is a smart wearable that is easily donned prior to sports, fitness training or everyday activities. It is designed to offset left-right biomechanical imbalance – a pervasive issue – and put you in a balanced biomechanical state. When you are in a balanced state, you feel healthier, have reduced muscle pain, obtain increased benefits from your activity and can use 100% of your available strength, speed, & agility.
2. Problem & Solution
The problem: Over the past 20 years, the Postural Restoration Institute has identified a prevalent left-right muscle imbalance in the general population. This imbalance is exacerbated with general activities, fitness training, and sports specific training, especially if proper functional movements are not reinforced, but instead, replaced with compensating movements that activate muscles improperly. This causes an overuse of some muscles, and an underuse of other muscles, especially the hamstrings on the left leg. The result of this asymmetry is, at the very least, to not allow the individual to use 100% of their available strength, speed, and agility. At the very worst, it causes severe joint and muscle pain.
The solution: Functionally activate certain muscle groups, while not activating others. This is where the patented Protonics resistance approach comes in. Protonics has been proven in over 23 clinical studies to functionally change muscle firing patterns that affect left-right muscle imbalances by using a unique form of programmable resistance to movement.
Protonics T2 is easily attached to the left leg. Individuals’ power up the T2 system, set the Protonics resistance program, and start the T2 software application to guide them through exercises that only reinforce the correct muscle firing pattern that helps reverse this left-right imbalance.
With just 5 minutes of warm-up exercises with the system attached prior to activities, individuals will be able to immediately feel more balanced, and have more energy and flexibility after removing the system. The Protonics T2 smart system ensures that the user is in the proper position at all times during the key exercises by using an advanced monitoring system, and haptic/visual alerts. In this way, resistance (which reinforces muscle firing) is only applied if the user is in the correct position. Protonics T2 is the only functional device available that can help reprogram the correct muscle firing patterns that reverse left-right imbalance.
3. Market – your target market and the overall market
Our primary markets are home and commercial fitness, rehabilitation (physiotherapy and athletic training), and chiropractic in the US and abroad. In the US alone, there are 34,000 commercial fitness clubs and 61,000 fitness studios with equipment sales of about $1.4 billion. In U.S. home fitness equipment sales, there were 3.7 billion in revenue in 2015. In the US there are more than 20,000 physical therapy clinics, and 34,000 chiropractic clinics that are part of a $60 billion dollar industry.
4. Business Model – how do you make money?
After completing development, testing, and quality assurance of all the products we create, we outsource our manufacturing and then sell direct through protonics.info, direct phone sales, and independent distributors. We also currently have a campaign on Indiegogo.com.
In addition, we offer fee based seminars and webinars to professionals on the use and science behind Protonics with our clinical applications department, and also offer a broader scope of postural sciences through CEU courses offered independently by the Postural Restoration Institute.
5. Management and Development Team
Last but not least, the team behind Protonics T2 has many decades of experience developing cutting edge technologies & includes top engineers in the health, human interface and robotics industries as well as some of the most respected names in the medical, sports rehabilitation, and fitness industries.
Development of the new Protonics T2 is a collaboration between Protonics Technologies, based in Lincoln, Nebraska and Sentir Technologies, based in San Diego, California. Clinical research is based out of Lincoln, while the majority of the technical development is performed at the Sentir Technologies Robotics Lab in San Diego.
Frank Joutras – Founder & President – Protonics Technologies
Lisa Bartels DPT, PRC – Health & Fitness Applications Leader
Walter Aviles – Head of Engineering
Richard Aviles – Sr. Software Engineer
David Finke – Sr. Electrical Engineer
Ben Shure – Sr. Mechanical Engineer
Zach Joutras – Product Designer
Chris Chochon – Fitness Applications