We met the ViLim Ball creators just before the start of the European Youth Award. Out of five Lithuanian team members, we got to meet two – Edvinas Litvinas and Andrius R. Juknevičius. They told us about their co-workers and the ViLim Ball that won in the Fostering Health category – it helps to treat hand tremor in patients with Parkinson’s and stiffness caused by rheumatoid arthritis. We asked Edvinas and Andrius, how the ViLim Ball was born and what story hides behind their startup.
The young entrepreneurs told us how everything started, three years ago. Mantas Venslauskas, one of the founders, was working on medical topics for his PhD: he was exploring vibrations and how they affect the human beings, studying capillaries and trying to find out how to make blood flow better. Also, he investigated how to reduce the hand tremor. This is how the idea behind the ViLim Ball was born.
After many trials and long days of hard work, something that initially looked like a glove, became a ball. We asked ViLim – how does it work?
“You take the device into your hand, push the button and it starts to vibrate. After 10 minutes of the therapy, the patient’s hands are less shaky, they can do activities that they couldn’t do otherwise. It’s not a random vibration, it registers parameters and creates a proper vibration for your disease, fosters your health and helps you live a better life.”
ViLim already sold over 200 devices in Lithuania and they plan on expanding into other markets. They are constantly improving the device to make it more personalizable, hence users’ feedback is very important for them.
During the process they faced several challenges: “Most problems were electro mechanical. Moving parts had to be durable and stable in terms of intensity. Now, we can guarantee it always works in the same way, making it universal for everyone and everywhere.”
The current version of the ViLim Ball costs 149 Euros, but later, further developed versions will have a different price. The team are planning to start selling the second version of the ball soon. It will have an updated hardware, more sensors and Bluetooth. In the future, the ball will be combined with a mobile application. The ViLimap mobile app will show the personal disease evolution and how the therapy affects it.
Improving the ball is not the only goal for the team – young entrepreneurs tell us they have started clinical trials and preparing documents to sell their product to the clinics, thus expanding their market.
What does European Youth Award mean for the ViLim Ball creators?
“The hard part of the business plan is the marketing strategy – it’s hard to let people know that the ball exists. EYA has helped in the public reach.”
The ViLim Ball crew wishes other young entrepreneurs not to give up and keep working on their ideas. The men jokingly admitted that at least every half a year a member of the team wants to drop everything and quit. Then, other members start working harder, thus making each other more motivated and then eventually the one who was in doubt has no other way but to catch up with the rest and keep working. The best motivation comes from those who use the ViLim Ball.
“When someone says that you’ve changed their life, how can you not get motivated?”
This article has been created by participants of the youth exchange “Media Moving Forward” that was coordinated by the Youth Press Austria and supported by Erasmus+ programme of the EU.