Telo: Revolutionizing human mobility
This student startup conceived the first significant design change to the rollator walker in 40 years.
Four University of Minnesota students in an undergraduate entrepreneurship course looked at rollator walkers and said, “We can do better.” It turns out they were right, and now they’ve founded a startup based on the first significant design change to the walker in over 40 years.
Newly minted alums Steven Bleau (‘21 College of Design), Morgan Kerfeld, Rick Pradhan, and Beth Urbanski (all ’21 Carlson School of Management) founded Telo as part of the two-semester “Entrepreneurship in Action” course, where students gain hands-on experience in launching a startup company. The course is offered through the Carlson School of Management’s Gary Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship.
The team is already racking up successes. Shortly before the students graduated in May 2021, Telo won the junior division of Minnesota’s Walleye Tank pitch competition. The startup is currently a semi-finalist in the student division of MN Cup, the country’s largest statewide new-venture competition, hosted by the Holmes Center.
Telo cofounder Morgan Kerfeld, who was recently named the U of M’s Student Entrepreneur of the Year by the Holmes Center, offered advice to would-be student entrepreneurs at a recent Founders Day event:
“When you’re a student, you have more resources available to you than you will ever have available in the rest of your life. So go do it.”
The new alums plan to bring their device to market in early 2022.
Pathways to entrepreneurship
MN Cup: Charting a course for entrepreneurs
The University of Minnesota’s MN Cup is the country’s largest statewide new-venture competition. Read about MN Cup.
Toaster Innovation Hub: A space for students to turn ideas into action
The Toaster is an imaginative space designed for sparking student creativity and collaboration. Read about the Toaster Innovation Hub.
Acara: Creating environmental and social change
The Acara program draws students interested in entrepreneurship and environmental and social change. Read about Acara.
Alumni Market: A sales platform for entrepreneurial alumni
The MN Alumni Market is one of the only such markets among universities in the nation. Read about the Alumni Market.
Technology commercialization and COVID-19 innovations
When COVID-19 hit, the U of M Twin Cities technology commercialization team quickly shifted to moving COVID-19 innovations into the marketplace. Read about Technology commercialization and COVID-19 innovations.
- Science and Technology