Darden Alumni’s Stroke Rehab Company Catches Wave of Startup Buzz

By Jay Hodgkins


Neofect, the startup co-founded by Hoyoung Ban (MBA ’11) and Scott Kim (MBA ’11) that has developed a wearable stroke rehabilitation device, has been in the news quite a bit lately. Darden first profiled Ban last year, and he shared why finding a better solution for stroke rehab became so important to him.

From Darden’s The Network:

"The rehabilitation road back from a stroke or traumatic brain injury can be long and expensive.

The exercises and strengthening activities that can be critical to recovery are often tedious, repetitive and best practiced under the care of a medical professional. As a result, many patients simply never take full advantage of the help they need.

South Korean inventor Hoyoung Ban (MBA ‘11) saw the need for a better system in his home country firsthand, as the Darden graduate’s father and two uncles all suffered strokes. His father passed away following the stroke while Ban was an undergraduate student at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. In the case of his uncles, effective rehabilitation therapy proved financially infeasible due to high cost of care in South Korea.

With the help of a partner, Ban formed the company Neofect in Yongin, South Korea, just south of Seoul, and led a team that helped design and bring to market the Rapael Smart Glove, a wearable device that connects to various digital training programs for relatively low-cost, varied workouts."

After Darden’s profile, Ban’s story and Neofect garnered international media coverage, including in the Financial Times:

"Ban had launched companies before, including an online TV business targeting Koreans in Los Angeles, and saw an opportunity to put his entrepreneurial skills to the test again. He was about to begin an MBA at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and reasoned that this would bring him into contact with experts who would be able to help him write a business plan.

Marrying his start-up experience with Choi’s technical expertise and the support of Darden’s entrepreneurship tutors and alumni, Ban saw an opportunity to find a technological solution to the problem of post-stroke paralysis rehabilitation.

Ban and Choi were joined by fellow Korean-born Darden MBA student Scott Kim as co-founders of Neofect. By this point they had a plan: to combine a patented glove-like device with online games to provide fun and accessible physiotherapy. The actions of the game would be tailored to help patients regain and improve movement and strength."
Financial Times

After expanding operations from South Korea to the U.S., opening an office in San Francisco led by Kim (MBA ’11), Neofect has started garnering even more buzz in the startup community.

Congratulations to Ban, Kim and Neofect as they move forward as entrepreneurial and responsible global leaders who are truly improving the world.

Neofect, founded by Darden alumnus Ho Young Ban (MBA '11), is using technology to develop solutions to advance stroke rehabilitation.
Neofect, founded by Darden alumnus Ho Young Ban (MBA '11), is using technology to develop solutions to advance stroke rehabilitation.
Neofect, founded by Darden alumnus Ho Young Ban (MBA '11), is using technology to develop solutions to advance stroke rehabilitation.
Neofect, founded by Darden alumnus Ho Young Ban (MBA '11), is using technology to develop solutions to advance stroke rehabilitation.
East Asia
About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D. and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

 

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