Psyonic is focused on making lower-cost bionic limbs.

For our Startup Spotlights, Times of Entrepreneurship scouted the most successful startups that spun out of top university competitions and programs. The impact of such awards can be many years in the making, especially in the DeepTech space.

Interviewee: Aadeel Akhtar

Which university challenge did you win and when? 

PSYONIC won the 2015 Cozad New Venture Competition, 2015 Samsung Research Innovation Award, and founder Dr. Aadeel Akhtar won the 2016 Illinois Innovation Prize at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The University has a strong support system for medical technology, such as this device to diagnose ear infections that Times of E covered previously.

What is your elevator pitch? 

PSYONIC develops advanced bionic limbs that are accessible to all people with limb differences. This mission is what has always defined our company and it has not changed since we started.

What should we know about you? 

We developed the FDA-registered bionic Ability Hand, the world’s fastest bionic hand and the first on the market to give users touch feedback. It is lightweight, robust to impacts, and reimbursable by Medicare in the US, expanding access from 10% of the upper limb difference population to 75%.

What are you looking for? 

We’re looking to revolutionize human-machine interfaces. We are currently preparing for a nationwide launch and are always looking for bright and talented individuals to join us in our mission. We are also looking for people with upper limb differences who could benefit from our devices. You can find us at

Why should someone invest in you? 

We are redefining what it means to be human for more than 10 million people with limb differences worldwide. And we are doing it with the most advanced technology while also making it cost effective for clinicians and patients. (The company would not disclose its funding level, but lists several partners on its web site, including the Range of Motion Project and David Rotter Prosthetics – Ed.).

Is there a clear evidence of success you would like to share? 

Our most important measure of success is the narratives we change for our users. Missing a hand is no longer something to be pitied. Having a bionic hand makes you superhuman. 

What is the number of employees in the startup?

PSYONIC currently has 20 employees. 

Where are you currently located?

PSYONIC is currently located in Champaign, Illinois.

If you would describe your startup to have a superpower, what would it be?

PSYONIC’s superpower is the ability to create superpowers.

The Psyonic team. Credit: Psyonic

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