Two FSU graduates received $50,000 for a rehabilitation equipment pitch.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — “It was one of those moments where you’re reading and you wait what? I remember the first thing I called my mom and grandma,” said former FSU women’s basketball player Nikki Ekomu he said.
Ekomu is now part of the pair winning the competition for the equalizer. The idea came about when Ekomu noticed that there weren’t a lot of wireless and affordable rehabilitation equipment for athletes. She knew who to call to get the idea off the ground, Armona Davis, alumnus manager of FSU’s women’s basketball team.
The duo began market research, regulations, designing and testing the product, and two years later, Equalizer was born.
“We do not come from a medical background at all. We are not bio-medical geniuses. We’re not doctors, but I think it’s inspired to win it too – assured us we could be in this space. You came in the door; You can be in this place. You know your stuff. Keep doing your job,” Davis said.
The Equalizer is an all-inclusive physical rehabilitation tool that helps with pain management and recovery. It provides heating, cooling and massage facilities. Technology, a street that is under-utilized in the minority start-up business world.
Ekomu then decided to apply for the Black Ambition Conference, a conference that provides funding for innovative business ideas. Results came out after 3 months. The Equalizer won a $50,000 prize and an additional $35.00 in resources such as advertising and ASW credits.
“It was honestly great. It was almost like an inspiration or inspiration that we could do it again,” Davis said.
Antonio Jefferson, president of the Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce, said he has seen an increase in minority businesses since COVID, but worries the tech start-up world will continue to grow into larger sectors.
“So, a lot of businesses and technology are being created, but we don’t see them landing here in our community. It is a priority for us to try to maintain these businesses here in Tallahassee,” Jefferson said.
Even though the Chamber is still excited to see another minority business grow within Tallahassee.
“We have to hold the door for each other if no one else will. And so, that’s one thing I’m doing,” Ekomu said.
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