Hardware Accelerator Team Spotlight: Elegant Spines

Elegant Spines HA19

Hardware Accelerator Team Spotlight: Elegant Spines

Silvia Zhang of #HardareAccelerator19 team, Elegant Spines, is using prior horse-riding experiences to create a slim spine protector to wear while riding.

What problem do you solve for the market?

Professional equestrians often engage in high elevation jumping activities.  In the instance of a fall, spine injuries became one of the most common types of injuries. A spine injury can lead to catastrophic consequences such as life-long paralysis.  However, there is no product that protects equestrians’ spines designed for professional competitions.

Who is your customer?

Professional equestrians competing in jumping divisions.

What is your innovation or solution?

An elegant spinal cord protector that utilizes a combination of biomechanics and cutting-edge impact absorbing materials to protect equestrians’ spines in the instances of falling off a horse.

How did you come up with this idea?

I ride horses regularly and also sometimes compete in jumping divisions. I have fallen numerous times, but I had one bad fall that required me to get an X-ray for my back. Then it occurred to me that there isn’t something that can protect my spines during riding activities.

What has been the biggest surprise? What has been the most eye-opening experience so far?

The biggest surprise happened during customer discovery process, where I discovered that I’m not in a sports business but a luxury goods business. Equestrians purchase items often for the social status among other equestrians and rarely for the functionality of the items.