TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — “It was one of those moments where you’re reading and you’re like wait what? I remember the first thing I did was call my mom and grandma,” said Nicki Ekhomu, a former FSU women’s basketball player.
Ekhomu is now a part of the competition winning duo for the Equalizer. The idea came about after Ekhomu noticed there weren’t a lot of wireless and affordable rehabilitation devices for athletes. She knew just who to call to get the idea off the ground, Armon’da Davis, a former student manager for FSU’s women’s basketball team.
The two began to compile market research, regulations, designing and testing the product and two years later the Equalizer was born.
“We don’t come from a medical background at all. We’re not bio-medical geniuses. We’re not medical doctors but I think winning this also motivated— insured us that we can be in this space. You got in the door; you can be in this space. You know your stuff. Continue to do your thing,” said Davis.
The Equalizer is an all-inclusive physical rehabilitation device meant to help with pain management and recovery. It offers heating, cooling, and massaging features. Technology, A lane that is underutilized in the minority start-up business world.
Ekhomu then decided to apply for the Black Ambition Conference, a conference that awards money for innovative business ideas. After 3 months the results were in. The Equalizer won a prize of $50,000 and an additional $35,00 in resources such as advertising and ASW credits.
“It was great honestly. It was almost like a motivation or inspiration that we could do it again,” said Davis.
President of Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce Antonio Jefferson said he has noticed a growth in minority businesses since COVID but worries that the tech start-up world will continue to move to bigger areas.
“So, a lot of businesses and technology are being formed but we’re not seeing them landing here in our community. That’s a priority for us to try to retain these businesses here in Tallahassee,” said Jefferson.
Regardless the chamber is still excited to see another minority business grow within Tallahassee.
“We have to hold the door for each other if no one else will. And so, that is one thing that I am doing,” said Ekhomu.
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