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No Limbits offers affordable, custom 3D-printed prosthetic covers

Erica Cole received her first prosthetic leg in September after losing her leg in an accident in May of this year. And it didn’t take long for her to become tired of the constant questions that people asked when they saw her prosthesis.

“There were a lot of uncomfortable questions that I didn’t want to answer multiple times a day,” Cole said. “It got really tiring. I didn’t like telling that story over and over because it kept dragging me back into that moment.” 

In October, she made her own prosthetic cover after having seen other people make custom covers.

“When I did, I noticed that it shifted that conversation from ‘oh my gosh, what happened to you?’ to ‘that’s really neat, how did you do that,'” said Cole.  “It really helped me in my healing process and I realized it could probably help a lot of other people too.”

After realizing how much customizability allowed her to take control of her own prosthesis, Erica founded No Limbits in the hopes that other amputees will display their personal style through their custom prosthetic covers.

Currently, options for prosthetic covers are overpriced and limited, usually costing $600-800, Cole told Clay & Milk. No Limbits is seeking to change that, offering designs that start around $200.

Since starting the company in October, Cole has already won first place multiple competitions—Iowa Startup Games and the Rose Francis Elevator Pitch Competition—taking home $12,500 which will allow her to purchase her own 3D-printer and grow the business.

“It’s gain a crazy amount of traction in such a short amount of time,” Cole said. “Winning those competitions has allowed me to keep up with that.”

Cole hopes to have completed 2-3 prototype rounds by sometime in March of next year and have products ready to be sent to customers 

Previous coverage…

Erica Cole wins both days of the Rose Francis Elevator Pitch Competition -Nov. 28, 2018

No Limbits offers affordable, custom 3D-printed prosthetic covers | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
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