June 9, 2021
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — TayCo Brace, a South Bend-based medical device company that develops ankle braces for injury recovery, today announced that it has raised $1.2 million in seed round financing. Investors participating in the round include Elevate Ventures, IrishAngels, Pit Road Fund and angel investors.
TayCo Brace was founded in 2016, and team members include Dr. Fred Ferlic, Gavin Ferlic, Nate Lazenga, Grant Strefling and Phoebe Tzannes. The company’s first product, the TayCo External Ankle Brace, was invented by TayCo co-founder and board member, Mike Bean, an athletic trainer at the University of Notre Dame, with assistance from Dr. Ferlic and Surestep, TayCo’s Custom Brace manufacturer. The device was designed to be stable enough to support a 300-pound lineman, yet lightweight and functional enough to allow athletes and patients to resume normal daily activities. The brace fits over normal footwear, allowing patients to return to normal daily activities up to four times faster than with a walking boot while also reducing the risk of additional injuries associated with walking boots.
“The TayCo team has been able to clearly articulate and capitalize on a pain point in the foot and ankle injury space—the walking boot,” said Nicholas Kuhn, Elevate Ventures’ entrepreneur-in-residence serving the Startup South Bend-Elkhart region. “TayCo has created a superior product with its external brace, and put itself in a great position to allow patients a more confident and comfortable recovery.”
TayCo Brace offers acute and custom braces, with a medical and athletic version of each. Revenue has grown 70% in 2021 compared to 2020. The devices are used by over 65 NCAA teams, 17 NFL teams, medical providers in 47 states, and several medical centers including Hughston Clinic, Hospital for Special Surgery, and Stedman Clinic.
The company will use the funds for growth and to launch and market an updated version of its acute product.
“Anyone who has ever suffered an injury knows how frustrating it can be to not do the things that you normally do, and that’s the problem that TayCo is solving,” Gavin Ferlic said. “It means so much to us that our investors believe in our company and team and that they’re supportive of our efforts to make TayCo the standard of care for ankle and hindfoot injuries.”