Alastair Moore talks about his new innovative folding crutch business Ambulo Crutches and the support he received from CIDO.
So tell us a bit about the Ambulo Folding Crutch?
The Ambulo Folding Crutch is a unique and innovative crutch designed to assist amputees and crutch users with increased crutch comfort and convenience in all situations. Users of crutches also want them to be an expression of their personality and to fit in with their own lifestyles.
Ambulo was designed to assist people who use crutches for mobility needs in their modern life; from commuting, to travelling and socialising. The crutch can be folded neatly into a backpack or hand luggage when travelling, fit easily in the footwell of a car and can be stored out of harm’s way under a seat when out for an evening. In another sense we also offer the great feature of a number of bespoke colours to help brighten up and add that personal touch to your crutch.
What motivated you to start your business?
The idea for Ambulo Crutches came about because I myself am an amputee. From my own personal experience, which I know is the same for many other amputees, I found the standard NHS crutch and other walking aids to be inconvenient, uncomfortable and unsightly.
What do you feel has been the biggest challenge in getting your business off the ground?
The biggest challenge for me has been having the determination to persevere with the business and developing product. You think once you have that eureka moment everything will fall into place but nothing is ever that easy. It has taken a lot of hard work and patience dealing with the problems that occur but as it has went on I’ve learnt from the issues and moved forward.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of running your own business?
It has been great watching it all develop. From my first idea, to the concept drawings, to getting the business support and advice from CIDO, to working with on the prototype and actually holding the final product. It has been amazing seeing the product and the business itself develop and realising myself that I can make a difference.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting their own business?
If you’re thinking of starting a business or developing a business idea it’s essential to have a good support network around you. This could be family or friends but it’s good just to have someone there that will continue to back and support you. I would also say that if you think you have an idea or innovative business do take advantage of the great business support available. The expert guidance I’ve received from CIDO has been a crucial factor in helping me develop my business plan and help me begin to help people with our Ambulo Crutches.