Today we are sharing the story of Jonathon Rosploch and how he is turning his idea for The Pronator into a startup. To stay up to date with Jon and The Pronator, check out www.thepronator.com follow him on Twitter (@thepronator).
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in booming metropolis of Sheboygan WI. Went to college at Marquette University graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Human Biology and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. I have been practicing in Green Bay for 7 years, where i am now the supervisor of Inpatient and Outpatient Physical Therapy Services.
I love outdoor sports and this passion lead me on the path to inventing The Pronator, which has now become a bittersweet journey.
Tell us more about your startup and the problem(s) you’re looking to solve.
I began to notice that in all the clinics were i was treating patients there was not a great way to strength specific motions at the elbow. I started to do some internet research and found that no one had solved this issue. Either the devices were limited in the amount of resistance they could provide or several items were modified and combined to do the job, but not in a safe or reasonable way. I came up with the idea of The Pronator to solve this dilemma. A simple and efficient way to strengthen muscles of the forearm with unlimited resistance held by a safe mechanism. This will allow patient, athletes or clients away to increase forearm strength that was not previously possible.
Has your vision evolved much since you started? If so, what were your major pivots?
I have to admit that I have pretty lofty visions and plans for The Pronator. I would love to see professional athletes using this device and i think that it could really help make a difference in their careers. Especially overhead athletes like quarterbacks, pitchers and tennis players. I also believe it is a simple and practical device that could be used in homes or gyms across the globe. I look forward to the chance and opportunity to move/pivot to these markets but at this time my focus is were i understand the user, the purchasing pathways and market in Rehabilitation. I feel my education and experience allows me to “talk shop” and get access to key players in the market easier.
How/when/where did you start your entrepreneurial journey?
My journey has been a slow journey over many years. I took a concept and over several weeks made a prototype out of a wooden hammer handle, tennis racket grip and snow board binding. I market tested the concept and got great feedback and enthusiasm. I did not try to sell any but i wanted to know other people beside me and my wife thought this was a good idea. Over the next year I started to put together a product, worked on Patent rights and read tons of books. I have no business or marketing education. I can name every muscle in your body and tell you what nerve makes it work, but i had no clue on product development, manufacturing, patenting, licensing, SEO, HTML and…. So I learned. I read some great books, listened to amazing podcast, worked closely with the NWTC entrepreneurship department (they are awesome) and got inspired at digital fertilizer. I still dont know anything but i am starting to get concepts. Except coding, might as well be french.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned running a startup in Northeast Wisconsin?
Everything takes ten times longer than you ever hoped or dreamed and that if you do not have patience, focus and drive it is so easy to get overwhelmed. This has nothing to do with Northeast WI, just my biggest lesson. Our world is getting smaller every day, I have worked with a virtual assistance in India, talked to suppliers china at midnight and gone to trade shows to meet buyers from all over the world. So there really is no excuse anymore about where you are on this global because everything is at your fingertips. It all comes down to patience, focus and drive.