The EU has supported an Armenian startup’s move to the international market. Embry smart insoles for shoes and a software automatically registers changes in the wearer’s weight, analyses their physical activity and behavior, helping them lead healthier lives.
Sargis Karapetyan is a 32-year-old who graduated from Draper University in Silicon Valley in 2018 and founded an Armenian startup called Embry Tech with his team.
They produce Embry smart insoles for shoes and a software solution that automatically registers changes in the wearer’s weight, analyses their physical activity and behaviour, helping them lead healthier lives.
The idea to create Embry came a few years ago when designers Nare Gevorgyan and Sargis Karapetyan wanted to create an automatic wearable and portable scale.
They were developing this idea starting as a hobby at first. They designed the insole, developed the underlying algorithm and technology, and then created hundreds of prototypes.
The European Union’s EU4Business programme offered crucial support in developing the initiative. The team learned about the conditions of the programme, they applied and received a grant.
“This was a very important stage for us because we had so far been investing our limited resources, which was holding us back from growing quickly and developing into a company that would interest venture funds. With the support of the grant provided by the EU, we were able to overcome that obstacle and move to the next stage, when our startup also began to attract venture funding,” said Sargis.
Embry analyses a user’s physical activity levels and behaviour. It also offers smart and personalised advice about how to manage weight. The Embry app provides real-time information on the user’s level of activity, how much time they sit during a day and, most importantly, how their weight has changed, thus providing the user with visible results through an invisible instrument.
“The primary target market for Embry Tech consists of mothers that hold office jobs. They have children and cannot afford the time to go to gyms, which is why they need an instrument that supports them in maintaining a healthy lifestyle,” said Sargis.
After developing their technology over three years, the Embry team released their first product this year. The Embry smart insole is being sold in limited quantities through the company website. Most customers placing orders are located in the USA and various European cities.
“The product costs 150 USD at the moment. It is mostly focused on the international market for now. I hope that such healthy habits and smart devices will soon catch on and become important in Armenia as well,” said Sargis Karapetyan.
The company already has several contracts, and they expect new investments of several million dollars this year. They are also planning to sign contracts with American fitness centres and hoping to double their current team of 13 people.
The vision that Sargis and his team have is very inspiring. Just as each phone has a built-in camera, each shoe can have Embry technology embedded into it in the years to come. At the moment, Embry is tackling weight and nutrition issues, but in 7 years it could foreseeably become a complete predictive and preventive tool in the healthcare sector.