Staels Design Ltd
University of Glasgow
Creative Challenge 2017 Winner
Corien Staels is the brainchild behind WheelAIR, an innovative, battery-powered cooling cushion for wheelchairs.
Corien was completing a Master’s degree at the University of Glasgow when she first entered Converge in 2016. She made the Top 30 returning the following year to scoop the Creative Challenge award for her pioneering healthcare product.
“Winning the Creative Challenge award means a lot to me, not only because of the amazing prize money but also because it is the first prize to give actual recognition to the wheelAIR design. Converge widened my network both personally and professionally and I can only recommend participating.”
Designed with input from Paralympic athletes, WheelAIR uses in-built fan technology to cool the user’s back while taking away excess heat and moisture. Corien appeared on BBC’s Dragon’s Den in late 2017 and was offered £75k investment (which she later turned down). The company is now exporting across the world and includes Edinburgh Airport as one of its customers.
This year, Corien was crowned AccelerateHER Awards 2019 winner, alongside two others. The V2 WheelAir System launched in September with new features including longer battery life, additional fan speeds and a wireless remote.