MOBO is a single myofascial release tool designed and created by Dr. Christie Powell. Her inventor story is different than the ones we have heard previously.
MOBO is only offered in blue…why blue?
I have scaled back the company and product offering
We got a huge verbal order before COVID that wanted blue.
Happy accident since we had to order 10,000 units
How did you get started?
As a smaller person performing myofascial release on large D1 athletes.
I kept having to McGyver things together to teach the patients how to do the work at home.
At a huge CrossFit event, the contestants all had 10+ devices and that was a huge inspiration.
I wanted one device that could replace most of those.
I reached out to an engineering friend and we worked together.
You mentioned getting funding for MOBO…can you share?
It is so complicated, I am a PT and I just want something for my patients.
We had to create CAD drawings
Pay someone to listen to your idea
The very first prototype was $1000 to produce.
We connected with a producer that worked out in our gym and he was our first funder.
$10,000 seemed like so much but that went through really quickly
He hooked us up with the filming studio.
We launched a Kickstarter to produce about 1000 units.
All my friends were product models and my gym was always the setting for photo shoots.
We did a “Meet and Greet” and the people donated about $20,000 which allowed us to make our first order.
We had trouble sourcing the materials in the US so we had a big process of finding the materials that were responsible.
We got another couple hundred thousand dollars from customers. This was a personal loan-type investment.
I had to bring on some business partners and there was much more stress.
So much time lapsed between a problem and a solution because they were being made overseas.
The last round of funding happened right at COVID. We had put in all the work and fine-tuned the process.
We took away all of the moving parts to limit the possible breakages.
We simplified the tool, but of course, that costs money and time.
We got 1.5 million dollars from one investor and that was in January 2020…right before COVID.
We now have to spend all this time filming and creating a website and an online shop.
Discuss the MOBO licensing deal
I felt like I was letting my baby leave the house.
Our deal was with DICK’S Sporting Goods.
We actually shared their manufacturing facility and they felt our tool would help them reach the adventure sports crowd.
We had to negotiate so many things to produce the product cheaper.
We knew there were certain areas we could not compromise on certain components.
What would you do differently if you were starting over?
Everything got me to where I am now with the product and company.
I could not have done this by myself. Surrounding myself with the best possible fit and people that have the same values.
I allowed anyone who showed interest to help instead of vetting them and picking the “right” person
What do you see going forward?
I am going to lots of places to do a demo for a running group and a yoga studio.
I am excited we are expanding and blowing up.
Previous Episodes with Elysia
Elysia Tsai – https://www.si-boards.com/aboutus.asp
Dr. Christie Powell – http://www.cp-pt.com/our-crew-5
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