Necessity is the mother of invention
Becoming disabled in 2012, Sumi Wang’s father, Jianmin, found it impossible to source a mobility scooter that was both safe and comfortable but also light and easy to use. He therefore set about designing his own! In 2013, the first eFOLDi foldable mobility scooter had been invented.
Fledglings and dragons
With the help of funding from a Reigate & Banstead Business Support Grant, the fledgling business was ready to launch and, in 2015, Sumi gave up her day job to commit everything to building SunTech UK and to bring the eFOLDi to market.
That same year, she attended the Reigate & Banstead Entrepreneur Academy, winning the £5,000 Dragon’s Den prize which she used to gain an international patent on her father’s invention.
Good luck is when opportunity meets preparation
A major opportunity presented itself in 2016 when Sumi used her second Reigate & Banstead Business Support Grant to fund a stand at the Gadget Show Live. There she won the British Invention of the Year Award!
This was just the catalyst needed to put her business in the spotlight and the same year saw her successfully secure £120k in seed funding investment from Sir Richard Branson’s VOOM competition as well as raising crowdfunding of more than £100k in just 99 days!
Going for growth!
In February 2017, the very first MK1.0 eFOLDi mobility scooter rolled off the assembly line and since then, the Redhill-based company has gone from strength to strength, raising further rounds of finance and growing its international customer base and product range.
In 2020, they launched the eFOLDi Lite – the world’s lightest mobility scooter – and secured a £2.5m investment from Guinness Asset Management which has enabled the company to grow into new markets and even more innovations. 2021 saw them win the Naidex Innovation of the Year Award.
We cannot wait to see where the eFOLDi business journey takes Sumi next!