“Since there is no comparable product worldwide, it was my intention to establish Tec-Innovation GmbH”, emphasises Kevin Pajestka – the founder of our innovative and creative start-up from Austria.
The diploma thesis at the Mistelbach Higher Technical Education Institute specialising in Biomedical Sciences set the foundation for a dynamic company. The “Walkassist” (as it used to be called) was designed to simplify everyday life and prevent falls for an older gentleman with Parkinson‘s disease. It only became clear over time that this now patented invention supports many other people.
Kevin Pajestka also presented this innovation in the first season of the Austrian TV start-up show “2 Minuten 2 Millionen” (2 minutes 2 million) on Puls4 in 2013.
Our current co-founder, Markus Raffer, tuned into the segment with great enthusiasm and joined Pajestka and the newly established company – this was the start of our unstoppable and powerful start-up.
Markus Raffer is a key component in the development of a tool for detecting obstacles due to his education, his professional experience, but also his residual vision of below four percent.
We involve people with visual impairments and restricted mobility in all stages of development, so that the needs of a wide variety of users do not go unnoticed.
The Austrian Association in Support of the Blind and Visually Impaired with around 6,000 members is an important partner in these matters. This association continuously tests the product for functionality, usability and comfort.
“The inclusion of the needs of future users in the development is essential for the everyday suitability of InnoMake, since this is the only way to satisfy the customer!”, asserts Markus Raffer.
Today, we are Tec-Innovation, medical device manufacturer – we stand for innovation, loyalty and customer satisfaction, these aspects set us and our team apart.
Global innovations begin with a prototype
A prototype like “Walkassist” (as it was called in the beginning) is not nearly enough to satisfy customers on the market.
It began with wanting or having to install all the electronics inside the shoe. The circuit boards, battery for powering the electronics, cable connections and sensors were installed in the shoe sole and almost completely filled it. For this to happen, each shoe had to undergo hours of processing, which of course would have involved an enormous costs for the shoe industry if this installation type had become necessary for the market-ready shoe.
The development had to be completely turned on its head
Our engineers decided internally that the system had to be located in an external casing in order to prevent cable breaks and damage caused by the user’s body weight. This was only made possible because we have always worked consistently on miniaturising the electronics in parallel to these efforts.
The main advantage of this adjustment of bringing the electronics to outside of the shoe is that you, as a customer, can now purchase many different shoes. A pair of InnoMake attachments could then be removed from one pair of shoes and attached to another pair as required. We rose to this technical challenge in just one year.
We subsequently concentrated on the fine-tuning, as well as the very elaborate technical documentation and testing, which are essential for the declaration of conformity for a Class 1 medical device. The therefore necessary selection of components and battery also took a long time because only elements that comply with current medical standards according to relevant EU regulations may be used.
From a prototype to a high-tech medical device made in Austria
Ing. Kevin Pajestka
Kevin Pajestka graduated from the Mistelbach Higher Technical Education Institute for Health Technology and Electronics specialising in Biomedical Sciences.
Kevin Pajestka already completed numerous internships in the field of medical technology during the HTL, for example at VAMED AG and Sanitas GmbH, but also in the field of IT abroad (Malta Airport), or in controlling at GLORIT Bausysteme GmbH.
His diploma thesis on a shoe for detecting obstacles for people with disabilities set the foundation for Tec-Innovation GmbH and its research and development work.
As a managing partner, Kevin Pajestka’s responsibilities include Research & Development, InnoMakes Production and Marketing.
Mag. Markus Raffer
Markus Raffer graduated from the Wolfsberg Commercial Academy specialising in IT.
He subsequently completed his law studies with a focus on commercial law at the Karl-Franzens University of Graz, where he also worked at the Institute of Finance Law.
Markus Raffer has been a managing partner since 2014 (following his judicial practice), his responsibilities include Business Development, Finance & Sales and he brings the user perspective directly into the company due to his severe visual impairment (residual vision below four percent).
Both managing directors give lectures at the University of Applied Sciences Campus Vienna to provide students with an insight into the challenges of a medical device manufacturer and they also supervise topic-specific theses at various higher education institutions.
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