Satoshi Sugie is the co-founder and CEO of WHILL, a company whose mission is to change the negative perception of personal mobility devices through design and technology.
WHILL started in 2010 when Sugie’s friend explained “I’ve given up on going to the grocery store just 2 blocks away” due to the negative attention received in public while using a wheelchair. Sugie and his co-founders decided to create a mobility device that will allow their friend to live with confidence and enthusiasm. Since that time, WHILL has provided users of the traditional wheelchair and scooter with the option of a personal mobility device: an intelligent electric vehicle (EV). WHILL offers 2 products (Model A and Model Ci) to support users with both indoor and outdoor mobility and was named one of TIME’s “Best Inventions of 2018”.
Headquartered in Japan, WHILL has offices in the United States, Canada, Taiwan, and the EU. Its list of investors and advisors is diverse, consisting of people from the United States and Japan and ranging from academic institutions (such as Stanford) to tech companies and rehab engineering laboratories. WHILL’s aim is to enable everyone to explore their world in comfort and style.
Sugie has received international recognition for his work, including the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” in 2017, and serves as an inspiration for future entrepreneurs.