On behalf of the Genesis Program, I’m excited to announce our recent investment in Mudra, a medical device startup that offers a low-cost prosthetic hand to people suffering from limb loss.
Worldwide, an estimated 10 million people live with limb loss, with roughly 1.9 million in the US alone. Currently, an amputee faces average costs of up to $800,000 to replace a prosthetic limb over a lifetime. The current market for prosthetics is made up of mostly small, private manufacturers with no single company standing out as a market leader.
When Aadesh Brahmbhatt submitted his application to the Genesis Program, our team was immediately impressed. Aadesh is a freshman in UT Austin’s Aerospace Engineering program, bringing project management and Computer Aided Design (CAD) modeling skills from his studies at an Engineering-focused high school. His older brother, who manages healthcare products at General Electric, helped foster Aadesh’s interest in medical technology prior to coming to UT.
Although Aadesh is riding solo at the moment, he’s on the lookout for teammates to join Mudra in the near future. If you share a passion for medical technology, don’t hesitate to drop Aadesh a line.
Building A Low Cost Prosthetic Hand
Mudra hopes to build a competitively priced prosthetic hand using off-the shelf, machined, and economical 3D printed components. By lowering the cost of both the prosthetic itself and the maintenance associated with owning the device, Mudra will provide more patients access to prosthetics.
Aadesh realized current prices for prosthetics were too high for many patients and provided a “just good enough” user experience. Aadesh sees Mudra as a way to not only gain valuable experience in hardware development, but also empower a large community through innovation. Prosthetics have seen improvements in terms of electronic components, but Aadesh sees an overhaul of the design as necessary to lower costs and improve the user experience for patients.
Hardware development brings a host of unique problems for entrepreneurs, but Aadesh continues to show an aptitude for carefully thinking through any issues. Hardware companies often face longer delays between making changes in their design and being able to test the success of those changes. While some entrepreneurs deal with bugs in code, Aadesh focuses on tweaking the settings on a 3D printer. He has learned to isolate issues with each production run and is quickly building an ability to anticipate design failures.
Sometimes, the completed parts work exactly as planned. Other times, Aadesh has had to literally flip his design upside down to print at the level of quality his device needs to function properly. Fortunately, UT’s MakerSpace offers students numerous resources like laser and plasma cutters, 3D printers, and raw materials, which allow students to iterate on their ideas until they are happy with a finished product.
Why I Led The Deal
To me, Aadesh serves as an excellent example of the type of student Genesis hopes to equip with the tools to learn entrepreneurship. He is hungry, hard-working, and passionate about building something awesome. At Genesis, our mentor network is comprised of accomplished professionals from a variety of backgrounds who can offer their expertise to student entrepreneurs. Many of our mentors, who are UT alumni, have told us that if something like the Genesis Program had been around while they were in school, their career paths might have turned out differently. This is what Genesis wants to change at UT.
I’m excited to work alongside Aadesh as he builds Mudra, and look forward to seeing him grow as an entrepreneur.
The Genesis Program helps students turn their ideas into reality by providing access to funding and mentorship. We are a student-run fund that invests in ventures at the University of Texas at Austin.