ProstheTech, a South Bend-based startup company, secured a $20,000 investment to improve a prototype of an artificial human hand and bring it to market before year’s end.
The company, which launched in May with assistance from Startup South Bend – Elkhart, has developed a prosthetic hand operated by signals from the brain and muscle, according to a statement from the South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership. The investment from Indianapolis-based capital investment firm Elevate Ventures, through the Community Ideation Fund, allows for a second prototype to be created with the goal of launching sales by year’s end.
“The fact of the matter is that globally this is an underserved market and to me, it means a lot that we can help change that,” said Jose Montalvo, CEO of ProstheTech. “We have the ability to give people who need it the most, access to high-quality, reliable prosthetics.”
Human trials with the second version of its product are planned through December this year, and distribution will be handled through ProstheTech’s website and through clinics.
Montalvo, another co-founder and a third member of the management team are tied to the University of Notre Dame. Montalvo and Jacob Kapala, the firm’s chief innovation officer, graduated with electrical engineering degrees in May.
Federico Ivanissevich, the company’s chief financial officer, graduates in 2020 with a finance and economics degree from Notre Dame.
The founders invested $10,000 into ProstheTech. They plan to move the company to Notre Dame’s IDEA Center, the university’s innovation hub.
“ProstheTech is another great example of an early-stage startup in the South Bend – Elkhart Region taking advantage of the wide variety of resources in our ecosystem,” said Gavin Ferlic, an Elevate Ventures Entrepreneur-in-Residence focused on the South Bend-Elkhart region. “The company is solving a big problem with an innovative solution and is poised for great things.”