Corien is a woman of high values and goals. She made it possible for people to feel comfortable by inventing WheelAir.
This company got featured on Dragon’s Den UK and joined hands with Dragons. However, she was criticized for winning a deal for her looks, instead of her business skills. This disheartened Staels.
This made her believe that unless gender equality advances, commercial success will continue to be hindered, and worked hard to expose her business, in which she succeeded. Let’s study the rest.
About the Founder
A talented businesswoman from Belgium named Corien Staels stole the hearts of many with her creation. She has both international business and entrepreneurship degrees, which helped her to grow her company. She is also an enthusiast of fashion and has a bachelor’s degree in international management of fashion.
The idea of WheelAir popped up in her mind after observing her university manager, who uses a wheelchair. This led her to pursue the disability and accessibility sector. Staels considers it beneficial to create a product that gives consumers pleasure and peace.
Founding the WheelAir
WheelAir is a compatible wheelchair having a soft, comfortable backrest pillow. It provides the individual with more physical support and convenience and enhances the microenvironment, moisture, and humidity control.
The breathable cushions have an integrated fan that runs on batteries. This reduces the body temperature and regulates the back of the individual. This offers immediate relief by lowering warmth and dampness.
The battery lasts for 27 hours and provides a sense of relaxation without the help of a USB charger. The outer layer of the cushion is cleansable. WheelAIR comes in various kinds of sizes suitable for numerous wheelchairs.
Dragon’s Den Appearance
Staels requested $95,513.62 from the Dragons as a trade for 15% ownership. She initially approached herself by asking Michael Kerr, a two-time Paralympian, to support the brand. The Dragons expressed a sudden curiosity about Staels’ idea, which he thought would alter the lives of each wheelchair consumer. When Staels was subjected to provide information about the company’s manufacture, and market expenses and justify her profits, events got ugly.
Staels almost passed out and was forced to depart the Den to recuperate when Jones asked whether she felt under pressure when he questioned how she arrived at an estimation of $6,36,772.00. However, she cooled herself by using her demonstration of the wheelchair and WheelAir cushion. She came back to seek out what the Dragons had to say.
Campbell abruptly ended the discussion, criticizing Staels’ practicality, while the other Dragons presented counterproposals. Touker Suleyman and Tej Lalvani advocated splitting the cost of 20% ownership into two equal payments. They were outbid by Jones and Deborah Meaden, who proposed splitting the cost of 15% stock.
Jones and Meaden’s offer was complemented by Lalvani and Suleyman, who turned the pitch a bit smoother by reducing the share to 10% when the financial commitment had been reimbursed. Staels agreed to their proposal. Following that, Meaden and Jones made a similar proposition.
After Dragon’s Den
WheelAIR by Staels garnered numerous accolades after the broadcast of the Dragons’ Den show, enabling her to put off the Dragons’ capital. Improvements were recently added to version 2 of it. Considering that Staels Design uses a distributor, the product is accessible to more potential customers.
After airing, the business has received lots of publicity and is believed to be valued at more than $12,74,195.00.
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