Wheelchair luggage inventor lands £50,000 funding

Andrew Slorance aims for Rio Paralympics launch. Picture: Contributed
Andrew Slorance aims for Rio Paralympics launch. Picture: Contributed
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An inventor who parted company with his first business making Formula 1-inspired wheelchairs is hoping to rebound with the launch of his latest product at this summer’s Paralympics in Rio.

Andrew Slorance, the Nairn-based designer of the Carbon Black, is hoping to make the journey after winning £50,000 in backing for his new wheelchair luggage at the Scottish Edge Awards.

Made for “active” wheelchair users, the luggage should prove of interest to those at the games.

“You can’t push a suitcase and a wheelchair at the same time,” said Slorance, who was paralysed at the age of 14 after falling from a tree. “This brings the benefits of wheeled luggage to a wheelchair user.”

READ MORE: Rio Olympics could mark high point for Scots athletes

Slorance’s previous company, Carbon Black Systems, was awarded £100,000 at last year’s Edge competition, which assists individuals in commercialising their innovations. However, the money was never handed over and Slorance left shortly after.

Following legal proceedings that ended in a settlement, Slorance began working in October on the design for his luggage. Since he was no longer with Carbon Black, and the previous funding was never awarded, he was eligible to enter his new invention into this year’s Edge competition.

“I never thought I would not be part of the company I had put so much into, but now I believe it was the best thing that ever happened to me,” he said.

His new company, Phoenix Instinct, hopes to go to the Paralympics with UK Trade & Investment, but if that fails some of the Edge money could help with travel costs to Rio.