Exyo exists to make beautiful products that are a joy to use. Our users are creative, determined, tenacious individuals, who overflow with life, and master their disabilities. Our products help them do it all in style.
Andy Morgan heads up product development, website building, and content creation. His focus is on building the great brand and great products that exyo’s users deserve. Andy loves all things outdoors, exercise, and community. A keen park runner, a regular cyclist, an enthusiastic footballer, an ex-windsurfing & sailing instructor, the list goes on, he only wishes he had more time and England had better weather.
Jonny Charlesworth drives exyo’s manufacturing, logistics and quality control processes. Rolls-Royce trained, his eye for detail ensures all products are of the highest standard and get where they need to go. Outside work if he’s not fixing things in the shed, building robots or working on his car, he’ll be playing sports, out hiking with his fiancée or occasionally making funky live-music on bass.
Kit Hughes is exyo’s communications ‘man on the ground’ always in contact with the needs of our amazing clients. Armed with technical and research expertise Kit also mucks in with the heavy-lifting of exyo’s marketing and prototyping. Variety is the theme of Kit’s social life too, where heavy-lifting returns, along with coffee, drumming and honing skills in the kitchen, all competing for his attention against his loving wife!
It all started with Louis, a teenager from a small village in Wales; the kind of place where no sooner are you out the door than surrounded by idyllic countryside. The problem for Louis was that with his type of cerebral palsy, he needed a certain kind of walking aid to get around on his feet. But nobody made one that would work off road. So whilst Louis lived in the beautiful Welsh countryside; inaccessibility and little else to do meant that he was to a large extent, imprisoned by it.
He got in touch. We were at university at the time. His grandparents talked to the engineering department, explaining that if Louis didn’t walk, he would lose the ability to walk and that his condition was already getting worse. Walking was very difficult for Louis, so they hoped that the joy of exploring the countryside would motivate him to continue. A project was set up through the engineering charity, Engineers Without Borders and Jonny stepped up to lead it.
He modified Louis’ walker, giving it big pneumatic wheels to help it cope with rougher ground. This was huge for Louis; he ended up using his walker so much he wore the tread off the tyres! We saw such an impact on Louis from that project, that we knew that this was a problem worth solving.
“Exyo – express yourself” came into being as a result of a startup weekend, run by University of Sheffield Enterprise (USE) and a business enterprise module in our shared final year of Mechanical Engineering. These experiences confirmed that the three of us could work well together – effectively enough to tackle this problem after University. Supported with mentors, a beautiful open office and regular startup competitions, we grew; winning our first two rounds of grant funding in the form of Nesta’s Inclusive Technology Prize and The South Yorkshire Academic Health Science Network’s Proof-of-Concept Program.
We produced a second generation prototype and put it through rigorous medical device testing with Devices4Dignity and Sheffield Teaching Hospital. We put together a user group, developing the product as a response to their feedback. Armed with this experience, we pitched as semi-finalists at HRH Duke of York’s Pitch@Palace event, landing ourselves a partnership with IP Asset ventures, securing a PCT patent for the unique design of the Explorer. Most recently, we won a Wework Creator Award.
We are now working to launch exyo’s explorer and start production in 2018!