The startup of the day: Natural Pad, the art of serious gaming for therapeutic purposes
Frenchweb invites you today to discover Natural Pad, a Montpellier-based startup specializing in the health sector, which offers serious games for therapeutic purposes for functional rehabilitation using consumer motion capture systems such as Microsoft’s Kinect or Nintendo’s Wii Board.
FW: How did you get the idea for your company?
Antoine Seilles : We wanted to set up a video game development studio with a positioning on natural interfaces. Ines Benoit and I were researchers at LIRMM and we had followed a research project on therapeutic video games.
This field is still today mainly reserved for research laboratories.
FW: What need are you responding to?
Antoine Seilles : Functional and postural rehabilitation is based on the repetition of movements within the framework of adapted physical exercises. These exercises are carried out partly in the hospital, in a physiotherapist’s office and at home.
Using games makes rehabilitation fun, to share this activity with relatives thanks to gameplays asymmetric while maintaining the link with caregivers. The technologies used make it possible to provide caregivers with statistics on the patient’s practice and his ability to move.
FW: Very simply, how do you make money?
Antoine Seilles : We distribute our games to healthcare establishments in the form of licenses. A subscription and micro-payments formula is offered to patients returning home.
We also offer design, prototyping, game and application development services using natural interfaces.
FW: What or which companies are you being compared to in error?
Antoine Seilles : Genious Didact our main competitor, present on the market for 5 years.
FW: What was one of the first issues in your development, and how did you deal with it?
Antoine Seilles : Our first issue was the integration of interaction peripherals from natural interfaces, in particular motion capture.
We have developed our own software solutions allowing to integrate very quickly any interaction device within the framework of a partnership with the research laboratories of LIRMM and M2H funded by the Ministry of Research, BPI France, the LRI and the Languedoc Roussillon region.
FW: What is your main asset in this market?
Antoine Seilles : Our participatory design methodology and software solutions allow us to develop a first version of the game with caregivers and patients in a month.
FW: What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given and by whom?
Antoine Seilles : There are solutions to all problems. This is advice from a friend. I consider that this is true and that you just always have to look for solutions, not to be discouraged, to persevere.
This is valid both in technique and in fundraising or commercial negotiation. And very often that just requires explaining the situation well to its interlocutors. “
Founder: Antoine Seilles, Ines Di Loreto, Tristan Le Granche, Benoit Lange, Sébastien Andary
Investors: Edgar Bardakji, Fabien Dutartre, Florian Robin
Date of creation: August 2013 (but the activity has existed for 2 years under an incubator)
Number of employees: 7
Turnover: First year of activity