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Business Observer Friday, Mar. 13, 2020 7 months ago

Entrepreneur shifts mobility startup in new direction

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Stephanie Gomez seeks $2 million for Stabilife System.

Stephanie Gomez had made progress on several fronts in 2019 on the Naples-based company she co-founded, Stabilized Steps. The mobility company specializes in devices that provide greater stability for users of standard walkers.

Online sales were increasing, and she chased some deals with retailers. She was also on the capital-raise circuit. Then in late 2019, partially after helping her grandmother with some balance issues, Gomez took Stabilized Steps in a new direction — one she hopes will be a major tipping point for the business.

The new focus is on Stabilife System  — a patented device that combines the best features of Stabilized Steps with a high-tech balance and falls prevention software program. The key for the system, Gomez says, is that it provides users, mostly seniors, a way to work everyday on strengthening techniques. The Stabilife System includes the core stabilizer, a tablet, tablet holder and data watch — one part Peloton Bike, one part Fitbit.

“I’ve seen lots of startups enter this field, but they only address what happens after the fall,” Gomez tells Coffee Talk. “Nothing helps prevent the fall.”

Gomez is in the process of preparing a pilot study for Stabilife System, so she can get feedback that can help improve the product. She aims to go to market by the fourth quarter of 2020, with a price of $400 for the hardware/device and $20 a month for a subscription, according to an investor prospectus. She’s also targeting Medicare to cover the device, which would open up significant sales options.

Gomez also seeks investors. She won the Florida round of a global pitch conference from Silicon Valley capital firm SoGal Ventures late last year and attended the competition’s final pitch session in February. Although she didn’t win the overall contest, she did get valuable feedback from potential investors. She’s raised about $100,000 and seeks at least $2 million, at roughly 25% valuation.

Given how hot exercise-tech products like Peloton are, in addition to the mushrooming demographics of her target market, boomers and seniors, Gomez is confident Stabilife System will be a hit. Gomez says, “I think this is a great time to bring something like this to the market.”

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