10/29/2018News

‘Don’t Ever Quit,’ Teen Tells a Tearful Crowd at Creator Awards London

by Jo Caird

As Naveed Parvez was making his pitch to the judges at the London Creator Awards 2017, he knew it was a make-or-break moment. Andiamo, the medical device company he founded with his wife Samiya, had just a few hundred dollars left in the company account. Despite having found a way of making life-changing braces and splints for disabled children faster and better than anyone else, the lack of funding meant they were on the verge of closing their company.

Winning $180,000 at the Creator Awards London in 2017, and then an additional $500,000 at the Creator Awards Global Finals in New York just a few months later, turned it all around for Andiamo. A year later, the couple came back to say thank you to the people who made it possible.

“You put your money where your mouth is,” said Naveed to roars of encouragement from the crowd. “There’s so much talk in this world. You stood up.”

Winning at the Creator Awards allowed Andiamo to embark on a major project with the UK’s National Health Service. The Andiamo team has grown from seven people a year ago to more than 30 today. They have opened an office in Poland and are soon expanding to Norway.

Joining them on stage at WeWork's Creator Awards London 2018 was a family whose lives have been changed by Andiamo’s groundbreaking work. Jack Gower, a 13 year old who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a baby, uses splints to walk. Because of the length of time the splints usually take to manufacture—around six months—these products offer a poor fit and are often painful to wear.

Andiamo changed it all for Jack. The company’s 3D scanning and printing technology led to a comfortable product that takes just a week to finish.

Samiya was understandably emotional as she talked about how their son, Diamo, also struggled with cerebral palsy. Andiamo’s technology wouldn’t have prevented his death at the age of 9, but would have given him “a better life.” It’s helping children like Jack that make the hard work of running Andiamo worth it, she said.

Creator Awards London - Andiamo 2“Take every opportunity you get," says 13-year-old Jack Gower, "because you never know what might come up.”

It was an intensely moving moment as Jack and his mother, Ella, walked onstage at Creator Awards London 2018. The audience, many of whom were on the verge of tears after watching a short film that explained how Andiamo had helped Jack, jumped up for a long standing ovation.

A lot of teenagers might have felt intimidated speaking in front of an audience of 4,000, but Jack was poised and composed. Chatting with WeWork cofounder Miguel McKelvey about his ambitions—the young athlete dreams of becoming a Paralympian one day—he offered some words of advice to Creator attendees.

“Don’t ever quit,” said Jack. “Take every opportunity you get, because you never know what might come up.”