On April 12 NewBoCo held the Aging2.0 Cedar Rapids chapter pitch competition. Feltes One Way, a company focused on creating anti-rollback technology for manual wheelchairs, won the competition.

“It felt exciting and surprising to win Aging2.0 Cedar Rapids after seeing all of the other great ideas there,” Feltes One Way Co-CEO and Co-Founder Grant Oberfoell said. “We became a lot more confident in our company and are looking forward to continue developing our device.”

Feltes One Way is a universally fitting anti-rollback device for manual wheelchairs designed to help reduce the risk of injury around inclines and to increase user independence. Their mission is to help prevent manual wheelchair related accidents around inclines.

Oberfoell and Co-CEO and Co-Founder Tony Ward came up with their product five years ago after talking to a classmate’s wheelchair bound grandfather. The team learned about some of the challenges that he faced as an elderly wheelchair user. This inspired their company and invention, which is named after that grandfather.

According to Feltes One Way, it is estimated that there are 100,000 wheelchair-related accidents reported to emergency rooms every year. Their product will allow elderly wheelchair users to be more independent in their daily activities.

When Oberfoell isn’t working on Feltes One Way, he’s a student at Wahlert Catholic High School in Dubuque, Iowa, participating in football, wrestling, soccer, FTC Robotics, and theater.

The Aging2.0 Cedar Rapids judges featured some of the region’s leaders in aging issues, including Evergreen Estates Administrator Matt Giorgio, Family Caregivers Center of Mercy Caregiver Coach Kathy Good, and MedQuarter Executive Director Phil Wasta.

“The judges felt that all four of the organizations that pitched were relevant and have promise for future success,” Wasta said. “When we reviewed each presenter through the lens of the Aging2.0 criteria, the consensus was that Feltes One Way was the winner due to its potential to have a direct impact on the quality of life for the aging population.”

Winning Aging2.0 Cedar Rapids means that Feltes One Way moves on to the semi-finalist stage of the Aging2.0 Global Startup Search competition and will:

  • Participate in the virtual semi-finals round of online voting + expert judging (June 1-August 15)
  • Be featured on the Aging2.0 website during the voting round
  • Receive ONE free ticket to Aging2.0 Regional Summit
  • Receive ONE free ticket to Aging2.0 OPTIMIZE (Nov 14-15) valued at ~$800
  • Be featured during the Aging2.0 OPTIMIZE Conference

There are Aging2.0 chapters in 49 cities across North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. NewBoCo runs the Cedar Rapids chapter.

For more information on the Aging2.0 Global Startup Search, check out https://www.aging2.com/global-startup-search/

About NewBoCo
The New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative (NewBoCo) is a nonprofit with the mission to accelerate world-changing ideas, from Iowa. The organization aims to create impactful startup businesses that grow here through its Iowa Startup Accelerator program; to foster world-class technical and creative talent via innovative educational programs for kids and adults; to assist thriving, innovative companies in developing new products and attracting the best talent through corporate innovation programs; and to make an outstanding social impact and make the world a better place. Since 2014, the program has grown dramatically, helping hundreds of startups get off the ground and grow, introduced thousands of children to coding, and housed more than 150 entrepreneurs in its coworking space.