Implants on people in 2023?
Coming out of the gate in 2017, the startup raised € 650,000 via a crowdfunding campaign – in addition to the “usual suspects” such as Business Finland and angel investors. To start 2020, Askel upped the ante and collected € 766,000 in its second crowdfunding push.
“We have a very wide ownership base,” smiles Muhonen, calling the citizen participants of the campaigns “the Askel community”.
Money is, of course, necessary for any business, but the heavily regulated field of medical devices really calls for a heavy purse at times. There are many hurdles to cross before the company’s implants can be used on people – perhaps around 2023, if everything goes according to plan. In the meantime, however, Askel is already making its incredible implants to ease the pain of our four-legged friends.
“So far, there have been around 30 dog patients, and some horses, as well,” she says, adding that as many as possible patients are being monitored. “The longest monitoring period so far is two years and there have been no signs on osteoarthritis during that time.”
The co-founders Muhonen and Haaparanta are women in a highly male-dominated field – and, in fact, there is only one male in the Askel team, presently numbering five experts.
“And it used to be all-female until about a year ago,” Muhonen laughs, assuring that the gender imbalance is not by design.
“It just happened, I guess.”
Text: Sami J. Anteroinen
Photos: Askel Healthcare