What Connects Philips and Hable One?

What Connects Philips and Hable One?

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In 2019, we participated in the Philips Innovation Award, or PHIA for short. At the time Hable was a passion project that we were working on next to our studies. Yet, this award changed the way we looked at our project and was one of the reasons why it turned into the business we are today. Let’s delve a little deeper into this story and what it did for Hable.

Who is Philips?

Philips is a well-known company that makes a variety of products, from healthcare devices to everyday electronics and lighting solutions. Founded in 1891 in the Netherlands by Gerard Philips and his father Frederik, it started with light bulbs and grew into one of the biggest electronics companies in the world. Philips has created many groundbreaking products over the years, like the compact cassette tape and advanced medical imaging systems. Today, Philips is a leader in health technology, focusing on innovations that improve people's lives and health.

Philips is also committed to taking care of the planet. The company works hard to reduce its environmental impact, aiming to be carbon neutral and support recycling efforts. Philips designs its products to be energy-efficient and recyclable. This blend of innovation and responsibility has made Philips a trusted brand around the world, known for creating products that make a real difference in people's lives.


What is the Philips Innovation Award?

The Philips Innovation Award is a special recognition given by Philips to celebrate and support new and exciting ideas. This award is aimed at young entrepreneurs and startups who have come up with innovative solutions that can make a big difference in people's lives. Winning this award means getting not just recognition but also valuable support, like mentorship and resources, to help bring these creative ideas to life and make a real impact.

This award is a part of Philips' commitment to fostering innovation and encouraging new talent. By recognizing and supporting fresh, groundbreaking projects, Philips helps these new ideas grow and reach a wider audience. The Philips Innovation Award highlights the importance of creativity and new thinking in solving problems and improving the world, showing how innovation can lead to better health, more efficient technology, and a brighter future for everyone.

Freek pitching to phillips investors on stage

Hable Winning Experience

Participating in the PHIA was a transformative experience for Hable. The award process involved multiple stages, including rigorous pitch training, networking events, and presentations to seasoned entrepreneurs and investors. The feedback and mentorship we received were invaluable.

One of the pivotal moments was when we attended the largest fair for the visually impaired in the Netherlands in March 2019. Despite showcasing a product that was still in its early, somewhat flawed stage, we managed to sell many units. This experience highlighted the genuine demand for our product and validated our efforts. It was a crucial turning point that gave us the confidence to push forward.

By competing in PHIA and other programs, we realized we had to show the product, even when not fully finished, to test if it’s valuable as soon as possible!
Winning the Rough Diamond Award in 2019 was a significant milestone. The €10,000 prize was helpful, but the real value lay in the credibility and visibility that came with the award. The recognition opened doors to investors and opportunities that would have been otherwise inaccessible.

Freek celebrating the award on stage


The Impact of Winning

The impact of winning the PHIA Rough Diamond Award extended far beyond the prize money. It provided us with a platform to showcase our product to a broader audience and gain crucial exposure. The award's prestige lent us credibility in the eyes of investors, clients, and industry peers.

One of the most rewarding aspects of our journey has been witnessing the profound impact of Hable One on users' lives. During a pilot program, we sent the device to forty users, including a nine-year-old boy born blind. His immediate and intuitive use of the Hable One and his subsequent excitement underscored the device's transformative potential. These moments reinforced our commitment to making a difference and fueled our passion for further innovation.


Looking back

Since winning the PHIA Rough Diamond Award, Hable has continued to grow and evolve. Our mission remains focused on connecting and empowering the visually impaired. We aim to expand our global presence and to diversify our product offerings. At this moment we have active users of our product in more than 20 countries worldwide.

Reflecting on our journey, the Philips Innovation Award was a crucial catalyst for our success. The competition pushed us to refine our product, hone our pitch, and connect with invaluable mentors and peers. For aspiring entrepreneurs, we emphasize the importance of ensuring a strong product-market fit and seeking opportunities like the PHIA to gain recognition and support.

Winning the PHIA Rough Diamond Award was a launching pad that propelled us on the journey of entrepreneurship. Our journey continues, driven by a vision to empower the visually impaired and make the world a more inclusive place.

Now, did you enjoy learning about this important moment for the Hable brand? I am so proud to share it with you! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you. And don’t forget to read my next blog to stay updated with the latest Hable news!

The Power of Donating a Hable One: Changing Lives of the Visually Impaired

1 comment

Charles Adkins

This is such a powerful unit. Think of it, a keyboard that combines the basics of basically grade one braille which is pretty easy, with the unseen touch screen is rather amazing. I mean you don’t have to know braille to use the Hable, but if you do know braille it helps a little bit. I a very accomplished braille user reading braille to do commercials read all the claims about not having to know braille,eahave used my Hable for about a week and it just dawned on me, really, you don’t have to know braille. This is not just a product for the blind,eareally. If you know someone who is having trouble with their smart phone, you need to tell them about the Hable or better yet, show them yours.

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