Tracking Walker Use and Enhancing K-12 Science Education- the Latest 1 Million Cups Rochester


Two early stage startups told their story at this month’s 1 Million Cups Rochester: Grand Forks, North Dakota company WalkSmart and Rochester-based startup MindTech.


About MindTech

This startup is led by Area 10 Labs lead engineer Chad Attlesey, software developer Pete Wall, and experience designer AJ Montpetit. The concept was originally developed by Area 10 engineer Adam Salmi.

“We want to inspire first person, personal experiences in education and learning. We want to inspire [kids] to want to learn,” explained Attlesey.

To achieve these goals, MindTech is developing a microscope for everyone, a personal learning tool they hope could be distributed to each K-12 student at the start of every school year. This rugged, high-powered microscope is highly portable, allowing kids to continue to learn outside of the classroom.

“[This microscope] is not a toy, but it’s designed to be used and abused,” Attlesey said.

The device is highly capable. It has data storage capacity and captures 1080p video. It is easily stacked and stored and can be color customized.

The MindTech team aims to get this first product into the hands of the 55M K-12 students in the U.S., a potential $5B market. They currently have microscopes in production and are partnering with the science education non-profit InSciEd Out, which has local and global reach.

The team aims to get the microscopes to a $100 price point with large volume production and sales.

About WalkSmart

WalkSmart, led by entrepreneur Peter Chamberlain, is developing a tool to foster “fitness, safety, and health for walker users.”

Falls cost the healthcare system about $34B each year and are the leading cause of fatal injury among older adults. Furthermore, adults who use walkers are four times more susceptible to falls than non-walker users, with seventy-five percent of these falls occurring when the person is not using their walker.

Currently, there are about 3M walker users in the U.S., said Chamberlain, which are evenly split between residing at home and in assisted living facilities.

His product, WalkSmart, aims to reduce falls, hospitalization, and healthcare costs with the first-ever smart walker attachment. WalkSmart discretely snaps onto the wheel of the walker and records data as it rotates. The data is fed into the cloud and can be accessed by mobile and web applications.

Multiple caregivers- who are typically family members- can link to each account to monitor fitness and receive safety alerts for their loved one. Caregivers can access WalkSmart data directly from an app to receive real time information, such as the last time their loved one walked with their walker and their historic walking data. Users can also obtain customized push notifications from the system, altering them if there is no morning activity from their loved one, for example.

Along with these alerts, WalkSmart also gives positive reinforcement messages to the user if they met daily fitness goals. Chamberlain is also developing a wearable device that goes directly on the user’s shoe and sends alerts if they are walking without their walker.

WalkSmart is currently available as a $15/month subscription model. Three healthcare facilities, two paying customers, and Chamberlain’s family testers are currently using the system.


About 1 Million Cups Rochester

1 Million Cups is a free, national education program that takes place in over 160 different communities across the United States to support entrepreneurship. 1 Million Cups Rochester occurs on the first Wednesday of every month at 9AM at the Bleu Duck Kitchen. The next 1 Million Cups Rochester will be held Wednesday, January 3rd.