Episode 207: Game-Changing Innovations - Tanya Colonna on Using Wearable Tech for Injury PreventionOct 31, 2023
Tanya Colonna is a CEO, startup coach, and athlete. She has a background in biomedical engineering and currently combines her passions for entrepreneurship and fitness, in her role as founder and CEO of Oro Muscles, Inc.
Oro Muscles is on a mission to optimize elite sport, fitness, and rehabilitation by democratizing muscle data. What was once confined to a large laboratory setting with expert researchers, is now available in an easy-to-use wearable, that facilitates real-time actionable outputs for practitioners to get the most out of their training while combating injuries and re-injures.
Her journey as a founder has taken her from the US, to Europe, and back again. After 5 years of bootstrapping fundamental research with her co-founder, Oro Muscles has packed everything into a game-changing wearable that is used by Olympians, national record holders, and elite teams across the globe.
“We knew we could either keep doing the same thing that was not working, or we could try something different. So we decided to take a leap.”
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Welcome back to your next stop. This is Juliet Hahn. In this episode, I interview Tanya Colonna of Aura Muscles. And that's O-R-O. Oh, my God.
I love, love, love this. So I met Tanya through my current company, Fetech. She is a Rose Holman graduate engineering, and what she is doing in the entrepreneurial world is just fascinating. So again, you're going to go to Aura on Instagram. You can also find oral muscles on LinkedIn, Facebook, x or Twitter, whatever we're calling it these days.
And then Tanya Colonna is also on LinkedIn. So Italian father, professional soccer and then a mother. They were divorced when she was young. So she had these two worlds. Her mom used to have her do these math books and anatomy sketches because she loved drawl.
She says how she went to nerd camp, but then also had an awesome upbring with her dad, always being on the field with his soccer team. He played until he was like 65. And she always wanted to be an entrepreneur because of him, but then loved this whole science and math kind of side. So she went into corporate, realized she hated it, and I'm not going to even go where it is. But this Aura Muscles, I mean, it is fascinating what they are doing and what it is going to do performance out there.
You guys do not want to miss this. Again, auramuscles, and it is with an S. So you can go to auramuscles.com and listen to this wonderful story.
Welcome back to your next stop. This is Juliet Hahn. You know, I say this every single time, but I'm so happy to bring you another story of someone that followed a passion. Welcome Tanya Colonna of Aura Muscles. How are you doing?
Great, how are you? I'm good. I'm really excited about this because we were connected through Danielle Fetty, who is with Fetech who is the company I'm working for now. So Danielle saw you speaking at Rose Holman at a convention. Not a convention.
I think Clay won an award and you were speaking about Aura muscles. And she literally called me right away and she's like, I just met this wonderful goes, you know, at Rose there's so many males and know woman went up. Her name is Tanya. She has this company called Aura Muscles and I really want you to interview her. And I was like, okay, this is great.
And then we connected over. I think we had a zoom call. Just kind of take us through what you guys were doing. You shared some website stuff you were doing. We kind of all brainstormed and started really this great kind of starting relationship where you could feel what you're doing, the passion, you could feel what Fettech is doing.
And then the fact that you guys have this background of college, it was really awesome. And you're in the Netherlands right now, correct? Yeah. So I want to start this because I had so many questions. I think I said to you, like that time that we spoke.
And I was like, oh, I can't ask any of these questions because I want this to unfold on your next stop. So I'm just going to kind of have you start letting the listeners know a little bit about where you grew up and kind of early childhood memories, those kind of things. And then we'll get into university and go from there. Yeah, sure. I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, well, a suburb of Cleveland.
And early childhood memories involve a lot of athletics, a lot of sports. Also seeing my dad when he grew up, that influenced me a lot. He's an entrepreneur himself, but he came from post World War II Italy and kind of built himself up from that. So I grew up seeing that. On the other hand, with my mom, she was always giving me these anatomy coloring books and math books that I would take to Christmas parties because I was a little nerd.
But yeah, just kind of a weird juxtaposition between those two different lifestyles because my parents are they've been divorced since I was like three. So it was kind of like I was a different person in different households. Which is so interesting because one of those things that it is fascinating. So my parents didn't get divorced until I was a teenager. I was like 1213.
But having friends that maybe had the same sort of memories as you did, it was really like, oh, we were just always separate. So we had these two different lifestyles. And it is really interesting because a married couple, you kind of bring together your strengths, your weaknesses, whatever it is. But when you're raising a child kind of separately apart from each other, you're going to bring all of yourself a little bit more. It's not going to be so much of the partnership as a marriage is at what age.
And you're probably going to be like, I don't really remember at what age, but kind of in what stage of your life is better. Like, what chapter in your life did any of that kind of come together one day? And you were like, that's really interesting. Did you ever dive into that? Or is it kind of just one of those it was how it was?
Like you said, it's hard to say. I do remember when I was with my dad, he was a professional soccer player, and he kept playing soccer until he was 65 with his terrible I don't know how we did it, but I would go to the games and I would play with some of my friends there. And I would play with different friends at my mom's house. And there was one point where, I don't know, I just thought, like, I don't remember who I am with you, because it had been so there was some type of realization that there was something different when I was in both households and they're polar opposites too. I don't know how they ever got together.
My dad is literally as like a force of nature, like typical Italian guy. And then my mom is the sweetest person on the planet.
I think it was kind of obvious that it was very different on both ends from a young age. But it wasn't until probably that I moved to the Netherlands that I was able to really understand who I was rather than who I was in different situations there, if that makes sense. 100% makes sense, and I love that. Do you have siblings that also experience this with you? Kind of.
So I have a brother, he's ten years older than me, so he was at a different stage when all of this happened. So I'm sure he had a very different type of experience with it all. And then I have two younger siblings, but they're my dad's kids with a different mom. Got it. We're all completely different, right?
Which is I mean, that is one of the things that is beautiful about families. We all have our baggage from our families.
Whether it's good baggage, whether it's bad baggage. We all have it. Even if everything is the two parents, the 2.5 kids, there's stuff. And so how you kind of get out of that and how you then see how your life kind of shapes is always fascinating to me because there's always little things that people pick up that I think is really important. So going from there.
So how long were you in? And so both of your parents lived in Ohio, so it was kind of like you would see both of them at different times and then when did you continue kind of that. I love this anatomy. Sports kind of mean because really with aura muscles, that is what it's all together. Which is really cool that you have those memories of like your dad as a professional soccer player, your mom with the coloring books and teaching you all these things.
So when did those kind of come together? I've always been a little bit of both parents. I really dove into the athletics probably from my dad. My mom used to swim, but she didn't really take that up later. She really pushed education, though.
My dad would always go on vacation with the other siblings and my mom would make me stay. And I went to summer nerd camp and everything was completely different. But when it all came together again, it was probably just with this company. Because when I was picking what I wanted to do for college when I was little, I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I saw my dad, how he had built himself up, but not only that, but like the flexibility, the independence, just something different every day.
And then when I went to college, I studied biomedical engineering, probably a lot of my mom's influence. And then afterwards I was just trying to think how I can make a company for myself. I didn't really know what to do, but I took a taste of the corporate world. I hated it. And then I got a call from my co founder and now CTO, who we've been building this for about six years and it just seemed like a great opportunity to put everything together.
The athletics, the biomedical, engineering, then just a passion for actually taking something from an idea to something that actually helps want to. We're going to get into the whole creation of aura muscle. But of course I have some other questions that are in my head. So what made you choose Rose? Because from what I understand when Danielle explains it, it's an incredible engineering school, but it is in the Midwest.
And so what kind of took you down? Like, I want to be an engineer because I think that's fascinating. Engineers fascinate me in so many ways. One of them is because my brain does not work like that at all. And so it always fascinates me to see when someone's like this is what I am interested in.
So how did that kind of unfold? Yeah, it's a typical story. I always liked math, I always liked science, so that was something I really wanted to explore. But going back to those nerd camps I spent the summer at Rose actually before I went there and I took some electrical engineering courses there and we built this robotic chameleon and I just thought it was super cool not only being able to build thing, but also the professors themselves. The one professor that we worked with, he stayed up until 02:00 A.m.
With us working on this stuff. And they just have such a passion for being able to help you learn, being able to help you succeed. And I really love that. Plus a couple other parts of the institution that just felt really supportive in what you wanted to do and we'll get to it later, but they really support you afterwards as well, right? I mean, it's incredible.
I've now even seen that with Fett Tech. And I do have a question because again, it fascinates me, women going into the math and sciences just when I'm going to be 50 this year. And back in the day, I should say back in the old days, but they always were looking for women to go into those fields because it was such a male dominated world. And if you look at genetics, it is typical, right, that women are stronger than the others, that that is not the way God made our brains or whatever you believe there. So when you were going through school, did you ever find times where it was like you loved being the woman in that environment?
Or were there times where it was really frustrating for you? I think I was always used to it. Like I said, my dad, he was always playing soccer, so I was always hanging out with the guys. I'm probably one of the only people to have a really decent childhood, but also grow up in a bar. So I was hanging out with his friends in a bar and always surrounded by his teammates that were pretty my uncles, my family, and then my older brother as well.
He's ten years older than me, but he always incorporated me into pretty much everything that he did. So he brought me along with his friends. So I was always used to being like the young, random female.
I think that's part of it. It didn't seem like a big leap into 80% male dominated just because I was just used to it. Yeah, it was kind of how you were, which is really cool. And that's why I love kind of unpacking and unfolding all the chapters of our lives, because sometimes someone could be in that situation where they were always with women, right. They only had sisters and this and that, and they don't know how to navigate.
And there is a difference between men and women. I mean, I always feel like, yes, I can navigate both just because, again, I was comfortable in both kind of worlds. But when you're really immersed in it, you learn, okay, how guys are with each other, and it's really different. I have two sons and one daughter, but I grew up with all sisters and then one brother. But being in the sports, right, being competitive, I always remember in school, especially because of my dyslexia, I wasn't great in school, so most of my classes were with the Troublemaking boys, and so I kind of just again became comfortable with just their ways they work, right?
So I think that's so cool for you to kind of think about that. And I love how you said, I grew up and I had a normal life, even though I grew up in bars, because you could feel the love between both of your parents. Right? I mean, I totally feel that from you, which is really cool, and how they both kind of incorporated and how you grew from them and into your own person. So it made sense to you.
You're like, yeah, I've always been doing this. These are the things I like, this is what I'm good at. I'm just going to kind of follow that. So when you were in high school, did you know you wanted to go into engineering? Like, was this something that because of the camps that you were going to, that it was like, yeah, this is kind of where I want to go, or you knew it was going to be something science, math related.
I was all over the place in high school. At one point, I thought about becoming a lawyer, and after reading all these contracts, now I'm so glad I didn't at one point I thought about med school, actually. One of my dad's friends is still saying, hey, I'll write you a letter of recommendation for this college. You still want to go? I don't think so right now.
Maybe later. But engineering, I think, really came once I visited Rose. Like you said, it's quite a special place where I always wanted to learn. Everything that I did, every decision that I made wasn't really going towards a set point. It was just I wanted to be able to constantly learn.
I wanted to be able to be surrounded by people who would help facilitate that and not have a lot of bureaucratic, hierarchical stuff. And at Rose, it just felt like with the open door policy, everything just made sense then. And especially like I said, how the professors interacted with you and it continued through college, so it was a nice representation of it. Think I think that's what did it. I think it was more me choosing Rose Holman than me choosing engineering.
Well, I love that and what a that we need to put that somewhere and send that to is. But it is because as you said, when you have professors that know, interested in what you're doing and are passionate about what you're doing, it just makes things better. Especially when you're a curious kid, right? When you're a curious kid and you see someone love so much what they're doing and you have like, wait, this is interesting. I like how I feel in this environment.
I need to go there because it could be the opposite, right? Like, I know school for me sucked until I got to college, but it really was hard and just seeing teacher after teacher be frustrated and not love what they're doing and you're not understanding and then they're getting frustrated at you and it made school not a fun place for me. But when you're at a place where, as you said, you loved learning and you loved the passion that they brought at that camp, I mean, that's a beautiful kind of segue into where you are now and that you still go back and talk. And that's one of the things with Rose that know, learning about is just the community and how proud they are of their students and how proud they want to support their students after they leave. Because it is a special place that has really smart people and people that are going to do some amazing things and they give you kind of both of those tools.
It's not like, okay, you're smart and now you're out there. It's like you're smart and you can do something to kind of change in industries, change the world, change things. So if you can kind of take us can we can all feel how much you love Rose and all of that. So I'm not going to go into stories about college because I want to get to Aura muscles. And you said you've been doing this for six years, so can you take us through kind of you're leaving corporate?
What did you start there? And then how did this kind of come together? Yeah, sure. I started at Frisenia's Medical care. I worked in both the procurement department and in the operations engineering department.
There's a lot of red tape there, and it was just if I do the same thing day in and day out, I go a little nuts. And I needed something different. But I also knew that I wasn't going to stay there very long. Like when I took the position, I took it as a temporary position. I was offered something full time with more money, but I said, no, I really want to keep this flexibility.
And at the time, I was in Boston, so I was trying to incorporate into the startup scene and see what I could do there. But then I got a call from Hoby Tam, and he was doing his PhD in bioengineering in South Carolina at Clemson University. And he said, hey, I have an idea for a startup, and I know you hate your life. Do you want to be the CEO? I'm like, I'm going to need a little or more information, but probably, yeah.
So, yeah, it turned out he and his friends, all PhD bioengineers, they were watching a basketball game, and this player, he came down on his leg, and it looked like nothing out of the usual, nothing twisted, no contact injury. And the lower part of his leg just split open on national television, bones protruded out of the skin. And I imagine that 99% of the people watching were just absolutely grossed out because it happened too quickly to blur it out. But my friends were just sipping their beer and they're like, well, that shouldn't happen. What can we actually do to help to prevent this?
And so their minds started turning and started speaking about internal and external load and looking at how forces on the outside are happening, but nothing really can help to monitor what's happening on the inside. And they developed this crazy looking prototype. They even called it the Medusa because there were just wires, like, everywhere, just trying to figure out what could we do to do this? And Hobie's two other friends, they were still finishing up their PhDs. They wanted to do different things, but Obi also wanted to go into entrepreneurship.
Yeah, Hobie was trying to figure that out, trying to figure out what he could do with tech. He knew that he could build technology, especially given his research background in PhD world. He knew how to test things, he knew how to break things. He knew how to make things scalable. But then what's happening on the business end of the world?
And he also was looking into that. So he had some insights into it. I had also done a master's degree in engineering management. So I had a nice high level of what was going on. And I remember actually the professor who the award was named after for clay, Dr.
Mason, he always said, hey, talk to your customers, talk to your customers. And so I was like, well, I think we need to talk to our customers. So that started a crazy journey of me going all around the east coast of the US. Trying to meet with different physiotherapists, try to meet with rehabilitation specialists. We were talking to neurological physiotherapists.
I snuck into a conference because we had no money. My little sister was in Chicago, and, hey, can I can I crash with you and just see if I can get in here? So I ended up getting in and met some really cool people. They're like, hey, I love your energy, I love your enthusiasm. Here's my badge.
Go talk to this person. Go talk to that person. So able to really awesome stress test everything. But the issue came when we knew, okay, hey, there's something behind this idea, but we need data to actually understand how and if it can actually come to something useful. So I had a contact, I made a contact at the Cleveland Clinic, and he was saying, yeah, come back when you're ready for clinical trials.
And I said, that's going to be a long time and a lot of money before that happens, but thank you. I'll keep you in mind. So we started to try to consolidate everything. So with every drive I was making, I was driving 20 hours a month trying to figure out what to do, trying to find a home. We had some developers actually at Rose Holman trying to work on this.
We had some business mentors in South Carolina. We had this guy at the Cleveland Clinic, but that's not sustainable, right? So we were looking for a home, pretty much, and we were looking for people to test with and a supportive ecosystem to surround ourselves with. And we had a hypothesis about the climate in Europe, just because US is a very litigious society, and you never know what's going to happen if you slap a sensor on someone and something happens to go wrong. So we applied to accelerator programs both in the US.
And in Europe, one of which in the Netherlands we heard back from. And so I had two weeks to decide if I would move to the Netherlands or not. And Hobie's like, well, I'm finishing up my PhD, but, you know, try to help support you if you're up for doing this. And in my mind, it was like, either we keep doing the same thing that's not working, or we try something different. And took a leap, moved to Kronia.
When I got there, I said, hey, I need a train ticket to groaningen. And they're like, oh, you mean cronia. I'm like, wow, what have I done worked out? And how long have you been there now? So it's coming on six years now of being here and trying to build everything up.
But I don't know if you want me to jump to this yet, but we're actually headquartering now in the US. We're moving everything back to the US. Europe was really good for helping with research, helping with getting to a point where you're almost out of product. They have a really nice support system for that. And the people around here have been amazing.
The issue came when we were trying to raise funds to cross that chasm and really get from this is a prototype to this is a product. And at that point, Hobie and I had put in four or five years into this. And so what we were getting as feedback from the investment community around Europe just it didn't make sense to don't you never want to look at something as this is what I put in, and this is what I would lose if we take lower standards. But to us it wasn't really that. It was more like we really feel like it's worth more than what you're saying it is right now.
And it was just hard to really get what we felt was right. And also the vision of our company too. So we saw it as not only sports but also medicine and really being able to scale it all with one product, which is still true right now. And it was just hard to get people to see the vision. I don't know if at that point we weren't saying it properly if it was on us, but we did know it landed with people in the US.
And so when it landed with people in the US. Also customers more willing to pay over there. So we did finally get our two first premier customers in the US. Just like two weeks ago. Congratulations about it was it's been a weird journey from US.
To Europe for six years and now it's bittersweet. Probably going back, right? Right now. Where do you think you'll land? Are you going to go back to.
Ohio for a little bit? For a little bit. But I believe we're looking at headquartering right now in a there's a on the Orlando ecosystem. I was also there about a week, you know, talking to the universities around there, talking to the medical doctors we know around there also the investment community we've met and build up around it. Plus it's warm.
I've been really cold in the Netherlands for six.
I mean, I love it. So can you just take everyone through a little bit of know because I know they're like, okay, well I want to know more about this, right? I want to know what is aura muscles? Can you take us through? Are you at the place where you can do that?
Really just take us through the whole kind of system? Yeah, absolutely. So when we started to look at everything I mentioned, the external and internal load. What we found really was missing from that internal piece was what's happening at the local muscle level. So we started to look at, all right, well, why aren't people using this data?
And we found out why it's really hard to use it right now. In order to really get data into insights into the muscle quantitative data, you have to have this, like, $200,000 motion capture lab, two room in a hospital space. It takes an expert to actually analyze this. And then you have these clinicians who spent eight years in medical school watching slow motion video and then manually picking out parts of this EMG signal, which probably wasn't what they signed up for when they went to school for that long. But because of all of that, and then them also having to work with their patients and everything else that has to do with their job, it takes about three weeks to actually get this data to the patient and to actually analyze it and look through it.
And by then, your muscles have adapted, right? By then, the data doesn't really make sense. It's really good for research, but it doesn't help to make anything really truly actionable for the patient. So we looked at that and we started also analyzing this muscle data.
We did find the people that were able to test with us. So one of the things that we did at first was a study on ACL rehabilitation. So what does the muscle data actually look like throughout ACL rehabilitation? And we found something really interesting in there. So we found that when your leg is actually coming back from an injury in comparison to your other leg, there's this overshoot in neuromuscular activation, so in how the muscle is actually firing.
And for a bit it's very inefficient. And then over time, it becomes more efficient, so it kind of levels out with the right and left leg. And so this happens in patients who rehab well, but not in patients who don't rehab well. So it's a nice early indicator of, is your rehabilitation actually progressing how it should? And then on top of that, if we were able to condense all of this down into just a little device, then you could make it so that this integrates into any piece of gym equipment becoming something that can give you quantitative data on rehabilitation rather than this 200,000 motion capture lab or this $60,000 biodex machine which has you just doing, like, controlled movements.
You can actually get a quantitative measure on functional muscle performance. And I have the device right here. So what we have here is just this really small sensor that goes onto any surface level muscle. And so this is actually medical grade. And then going back to that clinician, analyzing all of this data, we programmed a machine learning algorithm that allows you to, instead of three weeks of analysis.
Time. We give you real time information about what's actually happening in the muscle. So that allows you to see how is my athlete or patient fatiguing or what are the compensation mechanisms that are actually being used. Instead of an external metric that tells you what's happening, we tell you how that movement is produced. And how that movement is produced is usually the root cause of injury or re injury.
Right. Okay. This is so fascinating to me and for so many different levels. For one, and I don't know if I shared you, but my oldest, he had two evulsion fractures to his pelvis. So one in the spring and then one in the fall took him out of soccer.
He wants to play in college, so he lost a whole year his junior year. So he's been building himself back up. Question for you, and you might have said that already, said it when you were speaking, so maybe you're just going to reiterate it again. But would this be used kind of before to see if all the muscles are functioning correctly to prevent injury, or is this after injury to see how you can get back and then go through the whole body? So would someone come to you?
It's like, oh, I have an injury now I need to do this, or wait, I'm a professional athlete, I want to look at my body so I don't have any injury. Yeah, so there are a couple of different use cases for it. So you can use it for preventative screening and also just baseline testing to see, hey, am I veering from my baseline? Because if you do that, then it's probably an early indicator that an injury is about to occur. You can also use it throughout rehabilitation.
The way you use it throughout your rehabilitation is quite similar to what you would do if you wanted to use it in strength and conditioning as well. Basically a load monitoring tool. Am I pushing enough or am I not pushing enough? It really helps to clinicians and athletes and coaches. They all have this idea in mind when they program a training.
They have an idea of how the body is supposed to react and what type of stimulus it's supposed to be put on certain muscle groups. Then there's the athlete or the patient who feels something else. And it's hard to really express where the disconnect is sometimes. So we're giving you a quantitative measure on what's actually happening so that you can say, okay, this is why you should push harder, or this is why you should not push harder. And then also at the end of rehabilitation, there's always this gap between return to play and return to performance.
Because going up to return to play, you're in these controlled movements. And then what happens when you start sprinting? Well, normally, at least for me, when I'm coming back from something, I have this innate fear and that fear definitely affects how you actually move. So even if all the rehabilitation before that goes well, you can still have a compensation mechanism just for something in your head. And that's something that we're also working on that bridging the gap between return to play and return to performance.
So we can make sure that when you come back and you start sprinting full out or before the game, you can actually be at your peak self. It's such a needed thing. And I'm absolutely fascinated because when he was younger, he suffered from oshka schlaughters. My whole family did, I did, my husband did, both my other two kids did. But he had a little bit of a worst case scenario.
So when he went back to train, he was not using his legs in the correct way. So he was building all these other muscles and we obviously didn't know because he was a kid. And it was like, okay, go back. And then he started working out, training harder and training harder. And these were all kind of growth situations.
He grew really fast, late. So if we knew all about this, we could have completely prevented two evulsion fractures from happening. And there was times where I kept being like, we need to figure this out. There's something I have hip issues. My mom has hip issues.
And it's really just it's not that we have were built weird. It's just the way our muscles form around our hips, right? So it's obviously like we're standing a little bit, maybe a little bit too lock knead, maybe we're arching our backs a little bit, but we kind of all have the same thing. And he just happened to because he was a late grower, a late bloomer, where I was early because a female is earlier. I didn't have the same issues as that he did.
But it's funny now as my older age, my hips are usually where I'm like a little crickety. I do hot yoga to kind of try to work it out. But having all that information that you just said is so important and it could just really bridge the gap between kids that are injury prone. But a lot of times these kids are not injury prone. It's because of the way they're growing, and it's a growing thing.
And the training has gotten so much more intense that these are all preventative stuff. So I think this is fucking fantastic. I wish it was a number of years ago so Montgomery didn't have to, but he would be fascinating with this because there's such a need. And I love that you guys have put the time and effort because again, I want you. And I know we're coming up on end of time, but being an entrepreneur is not easy.
And I'm sure there was many times where you hit spots where it's like, is this worth it? Is this worth it? Is this worth it? And coming to the time where you are now has to feel so like, oh, my gosh, can you take us through a little bit of that entrepreneur kind of you're in another country. I'm sure there's times where you're like, what am I doing?
A couple of times a day.
Yeah. Well, the first major challenge, like I said, was trying to find someone to test with. And I think after we saw those results from the ACL rehab, that was kind of a nice springboard into the potential for this. And then after that, once we had that data and we started talking to other coaches, so we worked with Olympic level Dutch speed skaters as well. And so when I first met with the coach there, he literally came over to my house with Hope.
He was there as well. We had a three hour conversation about what we were trying to do, and he really liked it. He was really enthusiastic about it, and he was just trying to think, okay, how can I integrate this into what I'm doing with the team? And it was funny because at that point, we had a different looking prototype, I'll say, and that prototype had to connect to a computer. And so when we got to where we were testing, we were at the skating rink, and they said, okay, we'd love to be able to test them on ice.
And we had bluetooth as well, so we could have gotten probably about 100 meters instead of the full track. And they're like, the assistant coach, he was also a gold medalist Olympian, and he just said, what if I put this computer into my speed skating suit and I follow the person around the ice? And I'm like, I mean, that would and honestly, I think that's something that never would have happened in the US. You're not going to have someone risking that because it throws you all off balance. Like, I thought he was going to fall and break Kobe's laptop and himself, but they were so enthusiastic about it that just standing there and hearing these Olympians and these elite level coaches willing to do something like that in order to get this, it definitely encouraged us.
And the case studies just kind of keep rolling in. We helped the 70 year old break a national record with powerlifting. We have a medical doctor now down in Uruguay. We just spent a week in Uruguay speaking to this medical doctor, hearing how he uses it and what he would like to see from the device, which is also great, because if he wants to see this, then not only do teams want to see it. But everyone within physiotherapy and orthopedic medicine, even neurological physiotherapy, they all want to see the same thing.
So it's definitely motivating. But it's been a crazy just finding the first people to test with, finding the first investors, which is where Rose Holman came in. Again. They are the sawmill angels. They are our lead investors right now in this round.
And they're incredibly supportive with their wealth of experience in entrepreneurship, also in engineering, just in connections, and just general mentoring, just helping you to understand where you need to look or who they can connect to and all of that. It's been a lot of different hurdles. But then once you pass that hurdle, you find someone who's just willing to help you a lot. And it's the same with our first two customers. So our first two customers, they're leaders in technology adoption in Division I schools.
They're championship winning schools. Also talent development centers who output NFL, NBA, Olympians, all these great things. So it's like, you get up to this level and you want to quit, and then something happens that you're like, wow, the people that I keep finding once we pass this threshold are just amazing to have that continuous learning experience from. So I think that's what pushes it, right? I mean, and that's the thing, anyone that's listening that was like, I want to be an entrepreneur.
It's amazing. It is amazing. But there are the highs, the highest, and the low is the lowest. And I remember I asked someone one time, I said, how do you keep it? Because I'm like an all or nothing person.
So I live on the high. And then all of a sudden, the next day, you're on the low. And then I'm living on the low, and I'm like, oh my God, this is exhausting. How do you find that medium? I don't have that medium in most things because am all or nothing.
But this person said, and I thought it was brilliant, they said, you can't sit in the highs too long, and you can't sit in the lows too long. So you have to learn how to okay, this was an awesome win. And then move on and keep going. Don't sit there for days and be like, yes. Because literally the next day could be the lowest day, right?
And you're like, what the hell? And with something that you've been doing for six years, I mean, that's even exasperated even more. So I really appreciate you coming on and sharing with listeners, because it's fascinating. And it's fascinating, and I love how you tapped into not only your life experiences, but then also going back to university and being like, Rose, let's see how they can help you there. And that's what I think.
Sometimes people overlook and don't think. Like, think of your whole network and think when you have an idea or you have an experience, think how you can kind of go back to all different places, because you never know what rock is unturned that you're going to find that answer that you need. And so you have to stay curious. You have to stay, as you said, kind of moving forward. And if you're meant to be doing what you're doing, things are going to keep moving forward if that's what you keep doing.
But if you sit too long in, something could take you out forever. Absolutely. Well, yeah. Tanya, thank you so much again for joining your Next stop. And again, you guys can find aura muscles and that's oro muscles.
You can find them on LinkedIn Instagram. It's aura Muscles website. Auramuscles.com. And I am excited to continue watching you guys grow. So thank you again for joining your next stop.
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