Alli Truttmann

Alli Truttmann

Wicked Sheets
  • Founded
  • Invested

I feel like we are going to help so many seniors like my grandmother. I just feel so good about this.”

My idol growing up was my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Juracek. She approached life and learning with such imagination and exuberance, and knew that people need different avenues to learn things. Because of her, I knew I wanted to help people in some way.

Years later, in 2008, I was working as a behavioral therapist, helping both recovering opioid addicts use exercise as a neurogenetic therapy and providing in-home ABA therapy for kiddos diagnosed along the autism spectrum, when I  tore my ACL and meniscus playing soccer. After that, I knew I couldn’t go back to being the same kind of super-active therapist I had been.

It was unfortunate, but it led me to start Wicked Sheets. It sounds weird, but I can see my career path so clearly. During my rehabilitation, I was bedridden and experiencing significant night sweats. My doctor diagnosed me with hyperhidrosis, which is excessive sweating with no medical condition, and I could not find a product to solve my problem. So I looked at the fabrics I wore playing soccer in college and thought, If we can stay dry while we play athletics, why can’t we stay dry while sleeping? 

I sourced rolls of discontinued colors of Under Armor fabric — orange after the fall season and green after the summer season — and found some seamstresses on Craigslist to start sewing for me. Then I blogged about night sweats, hot flashes and sleep, and the next thing I know, I had orders coming in for Wicked Sheets. 

My company took a turn in 2017 after my grandmother passed away from incontinence-related bedsores. She was 96 and lived a beautiful life, but watching your parents and grandparents go through that, you just feel helpless. I distinctly remember her care staff talking about how much my grandmother loved her Wicked Sheets. Then they said, “Maybe if they were more absorbent, that would have helped with her incontinence.” Just like that! So I went back to my Ohio manufacturer and I said, “I want to make a bed pad — like three layers of Wicked Sheets — and let’s see what happens.” 

Soon after, I worked with a researcher at the University of Louisville who was measuring sweat in athletes’ clothing, and we applied the same technology to detect pee in a pad. We made a few prototypes and then put a sensor in one of the pads so that we could tell when the person was going. 

Then the NIH posted a grant for entrepreneurs developing technologies that would help with the quality of life and care for folks with Alzheimer’s and dementia. We won about half a million dollars through that SBIR grant. I paused Sheets completely and went full bore into the Wicked Smart Pad.  

By late February 2024, we had deployed 200 pads in three assisted-living pilot locations and closed on a $1.5M funding round, and I feel like we are going to help so many seniors like my grandmother. I just feel so good about this.

Elevate has been the most supportive investor group. They specialize in life sciences, and that is exactly where we want to be. Their advocacy and support have been huge, both financially and by introducing us to their network and other investor groups like VisionTech. Elevate’s passion for helping — it’s undeniable. 

Once you can say you’ve been invested in by Elevate, it’s a signal to the community that they want to keep championing you and your business along the way.