Shark Tank: 12 Finalists Dazzle In BIG IdeaBounce Contest

Team Name: RHM Innovations Inc.

BIG IndeaBounce 2022 finalist

Concept: At RHM Innovations Inc., we develop products to help people who have difficulty performing Activities of Daily Living (ADLs); our first product, the Aiding Arm, helps users to bathe more comfortably and independently.

Challenge: The inspiration for our first product, The Aiding Arm, came from experiences that we had with our loved ones. Last May, Courtney’s Dad passed away after a battle with cancer. Prior to his passing he lost his ability to bathe himself. Losing his independence was so difficult for him that he outright refused to bathe. It got to the point that nurses said he needed to bathe or he would be at risk for infection, so she stepped in to help him. Brandon experienced a similar situation with his grandparents. It was incredibly difficult for us to see our loved ones in such vulnerable and uncomfortable situations.

Not only is this situation uncomfortable, but it is often times unsafe. Over 150,000 people are injured in the bathroom each year costing $2 billion for hospital stays alone and this is just for the elderly population. This pain is felt by the individual, their family, and also facilities as these injuries cost an average of $6000/resident/year. Further, many patients are only bathed 1-2 times per week due to time constraints, which negatively impacts a person’s hygiene and takes a toll on their mental wellbeing. This issue has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic which has caused a shortage in staffing at facilities and hospitals, decreasing the quality of care and time spent with each patient.

Solution: Our solution, The Aiding Arm, addresses concerns of safety, comfort, and provides increased independence for the user. It is a clip-on shower chair attachment with a patented two-lever system that moves a removable showerhead along a track front-to-back and side-to-side, bringing the shower to the user. It is lightweight, easily attachable, and can fit comfortably into 92% of standard showers, which we discovered in an experiment we conducted during a Blackstone Launchpad Accelerator. The first lever moves the showerhead side-to-side and the second lever moves the showerhead front-to-back, enabling control, independence, and comfort while bathing. It clips onto the seat and is width adjustable to fit a variety of chairs. The lever can switch from the right to left side and it’s height adjustable as well.

We’ve conducted over 120 customer discovery interviews with end users, loved ones, nurses, aids, and executives of multiple elder care facilities. We learned that bathing at these facilities is infrequent, time consuming, messy, and leads to injuries and significant liability costs. By adopting the Aiding Arm, bathing at facilities will become quicker, more efficient, and safer, leading to more frequent baths, and decrease rate of unsanitary infection. Ultimately it will save the facility time and money while providing peace of mind to loved ones.

Market: The total addressable market can be broken up into three main market segments: the aging population (individuals over 65 years that receive aging related care), temporarily limited individuals (individuals who have short term or reversible conditions that render that person temporarily limited/disabled), and permanently limited individuals (those who have irreversible conditions that render them permanently disabled). In the United States the addressable market for the aging population is 10 million individuals. The addressable markets for temporarily limited and permanently limited people are 23.5 million and 8.9 million individuals, respectively.

Combined, the total addressable market in the US, the individuals who could benefit from immediate use of the Aiding Arm, is 42.4 million people, which translates to a total market value of $8.5 billion when sold at a wholesale price of $200 per unit (determined through extensive customer discovery). These market segments are growing in the US, namely the aging population, which is projected to grow by 65% by 2060, thereby increasing the already substantial total market value for our products.

Our go-to-market strategy focuses on Erie and Niagara counties in Western New York as there is a greater-than-average elderly population. Further, our Aging Specialist has connected us with 7 elder care facilities within WNY, one of which has agreed to test The Aiding Arm within their facility.

Competition: We’ve conducted over 120 customer discovery interviews with end users, loved ones, nurses, aids, and executives of multiple elder care facilities. We learned that bathing at these facilities is infrequent, time consuming, messy, and leads to injuries and significant liability costs. By adopting the Aiding Arm, bathing at facilities will become quicker, more efficient, and safer, leading to more frequent baths, decrease rate of unsanitary infection, and reduce liability cost. Ultimately it will save the facility time and money.

We are currently testing our minimal viable product in the largest continuing care facility in Western, NY (the Greenfields Continuing Care Community) to critically evaluate the positive, sustainable impacts of the Aiding Arm. We are also working on building our second prototype, sourcing more durable materials that reduce wear and tear to promote a longer life of the product.

Value Creation: We’ve conducted over 120 customer discovery interviews with end users, loved ones, nurses, aids, and executives of multiple elder care facilities. We learned that bathing at these facilities is infrequent, time consuming, messy, and leads to injuries and significant liability costs. By adopting the Aiding Arm, bathing at facilities will become quicker, more efficient, and safer, leading to more frequent baths, decrease rate of unsanitary infection, and reduce liability cost. Ultimately it will save the facility time and money.

We are currently testing our minimal viable product in the largest continuing care facility in Western, NY (the Greenfields Continuing Care Community) to critically evaluate the positive, sustainable impacts of the Aiding Arm. We are also working on building our second prototype, sourcing more durable materials that reduce wear and tear to promote a longer life of the product.

In our profit and loss statement for our first five years of operation starting in 2023, we project our gross margin increases from 32% to 61% as we manufacture at higher quantities. And our net income grows from 3.9% to 19.9% as we invest in growth and sustainability of our company. Therefore, we will be able to use this profitable business model to expand into the national market.

Team: We at RHM Innovations Inc. focus on developing solutions for age related problems. Myself and my co-founder, Courtney J. Burris, recently lost many of our loved ones to health-related issues from 2019-2020. We used these tragedies to fuel a business venture that produces products to improve the quality of life for individuals who struggle to perform Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). We work every day to develop products to help the loved ones of our customers in the way we wished they could have helped their loved ones.

Courtney is a 5th year PhD candidate in Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Buffalo and Brandon is a 5th year PhD candidate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Courtney has extensive experience in systems optimization and has started one other business venture. In addition to his extensive medical knowledge, Brandon has over six years of experience in sales and customer discovery. The management of RHM Innovations Inc. consists of co-founders Courtney Burris and Brandon Davis. Both partners will be taking hands-on management roles in the company. In addition, we have assembled a board of advisors to provide diverse business-related expertise and decades worth of experience. The advisors are:

Mr. John Herbrand, Esq. Business and Legal Advisor
Mr. John Seman, Business Coach
Dr. Bruce Troen, MD, Aging Specialist
Dan Buckmaster, Tresca Designs Design and Manufacturing Advisor
Dr. Victor Paquet, PhD, Human Factors Advisor
Mike Swartz, CPA

VOTE FOR TEAM RHM INNOVATIONS HERE

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