After a double above-the-knee amputation, former Marine Travis Green began relearning how to walk. His greatest obstacle was the equipment provided by his doctors; canes and prosthetics were painful, awkward, and could easily break within five years. Travis was unable to find a prosthetic that would provide great mobility and last a lifetime, so he decided to make one. Travis created Stump Armour, a durable prosthetic foot that provides an individual mobility while remaining close to the ground, unlike traditional full-leg prosthetics.
Through his research in prosthetics, Travis discovered that veterans like him are often encouraged to walk again. However, civilians with the same injuries are frequently told they will never walk again due to the high lifetime costs of prosthetics, especially if they have no insurance. Internationally, amputees like him are less likely to have access to basic mobility tools like wheelchairs. Travis reached out to the LiftFund Women’s Business Center to learn about funding opportunities to begin manufacturing, and how to turn Stump Armour into a business. Travis met with WBC business advisor Carlos Acosta to learn about preparing for a small business loan and leveraging debt. He was then directed to LiftFund, where in 2015 he was approved for a loan to manufacture 25 pairs of Stump Armour. In 2016, Travis acquired a second LiftFund loan for equipment to expand his in-house manufacturing, lower costs, and make Stump Armour more affordable. Though his path as an entrepreneur has not been easy, Travis’ determination to meet the needs of the amputee community has never wavered. “If you fail, that means you stopped trying,” Travis said. “You either do it or you don’t. I decided I wasn’t going to fail.”
Travis’ experience with his own nonprofit, Veteran Speakeasy, which focuses around building a community for wounded veterans, networking, and offering business advice, has led him to seek out international nonprofits working with amputees. “Access to prosthetic equipment should be a right and not a privilege,” he said. Travis hopes to continue developing more products like Stump Armour to fill the gaps in internationally available amputee equipment, and by partnering with other nonprofits, help amputees worldwide live a better life.
For more information about Travis and his Stump Armour, visit www.stumparmour.com.