Falling down the stairs - six young entrepreneurs wanted to do something about it

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In Norway, around 50 people die every year from falling down stairs. In addition, around 30,000 people require medical assistance after a hip fracture or other injury. These were the hard facts faced by students at the NTNU School of Entrepreneurship (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) in 2012 and 2013. Halvor Wold and his fellow students spent a week studying the subject of falling down stairs and were struck by the extent of it. (This is a translation based on an article by Anders Horntvedt, originally published in Finansavisen on March 5, 2018)

Rising income

Until now, the solution to the risk of falling down stairs was usually a stairlift, a home conversion or a move to a facility.

"These solutions have one thing in common. They are very expensive. They take time and they contribute to making the population more passive," says Wold, CEO of AssiTech AS.

Your alternative is a type of stair climber that supports people with restricted mobility when climbing stairs and thus protects them from falling down.

In mid-2015, the company launched the aid to prevent falls down stairs in Norway. In the last two years, the company has expanded to Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany and Austria.

Viral video

The idea of the stair climber is not only to prevent a fall down the stairs, but also to enable each individual to manage their everyday life independently.

The system costs between 1,800 and 5,200 euros depending on the type of staircase - not including installation.

"With an ageing population, movement and independence are key to enabling people to live in their own homes," says Wold.

The product received unexpected attention before Christmas. The company published a video of a six-year-old boy with cerebral palsy on its Facebook page.

"He had never walked the stairs on his own before and this was the first time he had the opportunity to be completely independent. It conveys a sense of achievement that is difficult for us to comprehend," says Wold.

The video went viral and has now been seen by millions of people on Facebook without the company spending a single cent on marketing.

Veterans on the investor side

Last year, the company acquired the investor group "Sprettert" from Stavanger. The group consists of Christian Rokseth, Erik Ålgård, Halvor Øgreid, Magnus Jepson and Jo Håvard Borsheim, all of whom were successful entrepreneurs themselves.

Christian Rokseth sold the smartphone Pixavi to the German company Bartec in 2014 and the newspaper Dagens Næringsliv estimated the value of Rokseth's 51 percent stake at 100 million crowns.

Magnus Jepson, for his part, is the co-founder of WooCommerce, which was bought by WordPress. According to the newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad, the sale price was well over 200 million kroner and Jepson owned half of the shares.

"In 2017, we raised around 3 million crowns through the issue of shares. Existing shareholders also participated in this financing round," says Wold.

Magnus Jepson, Investor, Sprettert
Christian Rokseth, Investor, Sprettert

New products in the works

The company's six employees are now working on the development of new product areas.

- What will the company look like in five years?

- In five years' time, we will have a broader product portfolio, with other aids that meet important needs in terms of living at home. The TOPRO Step brand will be synonymous with the product class it represents in the most important European markets.

- What dark clouds do you see on the horizon?

- Nothing in particular. At the moment we have a lot of people who love the product and are happy to tell their story in video stories. Satisfied customers are the most important prerequisite for generating growth both inside and outside Norway.

- Video was an important tool for us in Norway, and we are now starting to use it in Germany too. In mid-February, employees traveled to Austria to visit the first TOPRO Step installations there.

- We are now hiring people dedicated to market development in Germany, and after years of hard work we have been accepted by NAV Assistive Technology Centers in Norway. To date, we have delivered more than 200 TOPRO Step systems in Norway through our distribution partner Hepro.

AssiTech Team

Why choose TOPRO Step?

Installation in 3 steps

To carry out an on-site inspection and receive a quote, make an appointment with us. Once you have accepted the quote, we will carry out the installation, which usually only takes a few hours. .

TÜV tested and certified

TOPRO Step is TÜV-tested and certified and meets all functional and safety requirements.

Adaptable to your staircase

TOPRO Step is designed so that it can be easily adapted to your staircase. It can be installed on straight stairs, curved stairs and stairs with a landing.

Fits perfectly in any home

Ask your health insurance company about the possibility of cost coverage or possible subsidies. Please note that these options are country-specific and individual.

Up to 5 years warranty

TOPRO Step means TOPRO quality. When you buy a TOPRO Step, you receive a guarantee of up to 5 years.

Over 2,000 satisfied users

We measure success by satisfied customers, which is our top priority. We already have over 4,000 satisfied users throughout Europe.

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Talk to us

Would you like a free and personal consultation? Get in touch with our TOPRO Step experts and book a free, no-obligation appointment directly at your home.

We are happy to advise you

TOPRO Step Expert
+47 902 931 00
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We are happy to advise you

TOPRO Step Expert
+47 902 931 00
Monday - Friday
08:00 - 16:00 o'clock.

Do you have any questions or would you like to test the TOPRO Step stair climber?

We have compiled all frequently asked questions on the FAQ page

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