Innovative business idea secures seed money

By the Cane team

Cane is a group of five Year 13 students taking part in the Young Enterprise Scheme as an extra-curricular at Westlake. Our team consists of Aishi Jain, Michele Maddren, Charlotte Print, Mila Eichelsheim and Aakash Singh. Together we formed our business, Cane.

Cane’s mission is to help New Zealand’s blind, low vision and vision impaired community navigate and explore unknown or ambiguous areas more independently, with confidence. None of us are vision impaired or close to someone who is. Our personal experiences simply relate to distant relationships or what is in the media – but also come from the fear and uncertainty of losing vision ourselves. We discovered the lack of assistive technology in our country and it really disappointed us. Devices from international businesses are often not suitable for New Zealand and its infrastructure. Hence, we decided to fill the gap and use our social enterprise as a platform to raise awareness for and actively support this community.

Cane is creating wearable devices to complement the white cane and guide dog, giving users a greater understanding of their environment and route ahead. These include glasses and a cane extension, which have obstacle detection above the waist/traditional cane height, outdoor and indoor navigation, and utility awareness.

To kick start their journey, we applied for the University of Waikato’s YES Equity Seed Funding. Our video application was successful and we were lucky to receive $500. The video covered our vision and what we plan to use these funds for. View the video here.

Soon we will require more support as we develop technology for the blind, low vision and vision impaired community. If you, or someone you know can help us out or have any queries please contact us at or visit our instagram @cane.yes for more information.

Pictured above from left: Aishi Jain, Charlotte Print, Michele Maddren and Aakash Singh. Mila Eichelsheim was unfortunately away sick.

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