Student entrepreneur launches Kickstarter campaign to build business to help children and adults with motor control disorders

When we last heard from Industrial Design student Bailey Williams, she had earned a $15,000 award for Magnagrips, her design for a therapeutic glove that improves dexterity and grip strength. Williams shared the success and award with her teammates, finance student Jason Capps and family and consumer science and secondary education student Mary Oshana.

After the three won the Texas Christian University's Values and Ventures Business Plan Competition, mentor Erich Schlenker invited the students to come to Peacock Hall to speak with the Walker College's Business Advisory Council, which is composed of businessmen and women who meet regularly to advise Walker College administrators on matters relating to the needs of the business community.

Schlenker is Managing Director of the Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship, which is housed in the Walker College of Business.

"I shared my experience of how the Entrepreneurship Center has helped my progress with MagnaGrips Therapeutic Gloves," said Williams of the experience. "Several of them were interested in hearing more about MagnaGrips."

Inspired by the positive feedback and interest shown by the council members, Williams continued building her business around the gloves, which have magnets in the fingertips and help strengthen and train the fingers to improve a crucial pincer grip motion. She filed a provisional utility patent, launched a website to market MagnaGrips, and created a Kickstarter Campaign through which individuals can help support her work.

MagnaGrips benefit those with dexterity limitations, and assist children with fine motor control disorders. Her website details:

Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is a childhood disorder that often leads to poor coordination and clumsiness. About 5% of school children have some form of developmental coordination disorder. Some typical characteristics of DCD include: difficulty sitting up, crawling, walking, and problems with fine motor coordination (writing, using scissors, or tying shoelaces).

"There is a huge potential [for MagnaGrips to be applied] for other uses, such as stroke, and trauma therapy," added Williams. "With these types of movement restrictions even the slightest muscle manipulation is helpful and encouraging."

In addition to being the founder and CEO of MagnaSolutions, Williams is now a senior at Appalachian majoring in product design, where she recently served as the president of the local chapter of the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA).

Williams invites the public to help her build seed capital and become a MagnaGrips stakeholder through her Kickstarter campaign site, which launced June 5 and concludes July 4.

Bailey Williams holds a piece of paper that reads
Published: Jun 3, 2015 1:00pm