Invigorate was started by Joshua C. Smith with the purpose of providing an operating entity for The Catalyst Team. Invigorate is implementing a diversified revenue strategy, to help solve the urgent global need for wheelchairs, by leveraging business, technology, and partnerships to transform lives for good.
Invigorate will eventually build manufacturing facilities in strategic countries to make wheelchairs and other assistive technology devices in-country. Invigorate will provide governance, enforce manufacturing standards, simplify procurement and logistics, and shipping to Mission Hospitals for provisioning. The goal is for wheelchairs to be made locally to reduce cost, establish consistent availability, increase serviceability, and to meet the demand more effectively.
At LeTourneau University, Karen Rispin led the Wheels Research Project that developed and validated a set of research tools to determine how well wheelchairs work in low-resource settings. Karen then recruited a group of Christian professionals to help develop solutions to challenges identified during ongoing wheelchair research projects. The group is now called the Catalyst Team and is composed of volunteer researchers, doctors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, nurses, prosthetists, pastors, biomedical engineers, and business operators. The Catalyst Team’s goal is to support and equip mission hospitals to provide optimal whole-person care for those with disabilities, with a special focus on wheelchair users. This will include reliable access to training, resources, and locally appropriate assistive technology devices, starting in Kenya. The Catalyst Team has already been raising money for a shipment of pediatric Beeline Wheelchairs for Kenya.
The Wheels Project
The Wheels Project now lives at The University of Oklahoma. In March 2022, members of The Catalyst Team joined PT and OT students and faculty from the University of Oklahoma to collect research data on Beeline wheelchairs in Kenya. Beeline will use the results to improve their wheelchairs, making them stronger and more comfortable.
Josh operates at the intersection of business, technology, and ministry. Josh has manufacturing experience, developed popular online donation software, started and operated a business in Kenya employing people with disabilities, and served since 2012 with Tying Vines, a Christian nonprofit bringing hope to disadvantaged communities. Tying Vines is a registered 501(c)(3) processing donations for Invigorate while we pursues 501(c)(3) status. Josh joined the Catalyst Team and started Invigorate Inc., to serve as the business layer and operating entity for the group. Josh was born and raised in Kenya, lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and four kids, and is excited to try to help solve the global unmet need for wheelchairs.