SFC news published since 2018. See SFC archived content for earlier news articles.

Corien Staels, of Staels Design Ltd, won the backing of two “dragons” on BBC Two’s Dragons’ Den for her product wheelAIR, a battery powered airflow backrest cushion for wheelchairs.

Corien, of the University of Glasgow, won the £31,500 2017 Converge Challenge Design and Creativity prize for wheelAIR. The SFC-funded Converge Challenge is a company creation competition and entrepreneurial development programme for staff, students, and recent graduates of Scottish universities and research institutes.

Corien described her encounter with the Dragons as “one of my most stressful experiences ever” and revealed that she fainted during filming for the episode, which aired on Sunday. While being grilled by business guru Peter Jones, Corien says: “I’m sorry, I am going to pass out.”  

Since winning the backing of Dragons Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden, the company has gone on to secure multiple investment and business awards as well its first brand ambassador in wheelchair rugby double Paralympian and World Champion Michael Kerr.