At Smart Guider Inc, we understand the daily struggles faced by those with vision impairments. Our founder and CEO, Kelvin, has been legally blind since the age of 19 due to Usher Syndrome type 2. Despite facing many challenges in life, nothing could have prepared him for the emotional rollercoaster ride he experienced when COVID-19 hit.
When the See Me Cane was in the early stages of development, Kelvin had secured funding from investors who believed in his vision. But once COVID-19 struck, those investors pulled out and left Smart Guider without any funding. Kelvin was devastated, knowing that a lighted blind cane could help so many people, but with no funds to support its development, it seemed like all hope was lost.
But Kelvin refused to give up on the See Me Cane. He kept working to make it a reality, hoping one day it would be available on the market. In June of 2020, Kelvin's vision declined to the point where he could no longer manage the engineering of the cane, and he lost all hope that the See Me Cane would ever see the light of day.
It was on a sunny November afternoon, as Kelvin struggled to keep his business afloat, that he received a text message from a family friend. She asked if she could use the pottery wheel that Kelvin had in storage when he moved his company into his pottery studio. Kelvin agreed to the deal, and started making pottery again, just like he did back in college.
Kelvin's friend's sister took a video of him throwing clay on the pottery wheel and posted it to social media. Within just 10 hours, Kelvin had gained over 10,000 followers and over 100,000 views. Three days later, he had grown to over 50,000 followers and almost 1.4 million views, resulting in the start of a second business as people loved his pottery and his positive outlook on life.
With over 250,000 followers and over 20 million views on his videos, the money started rolling in, allowing funding to come back into Smart Guider. Kelvin was able to hire an engineer to finish the work he had started on the See Me Cane, and now, almost 3 years later in December 2022, he is excited to share with the world the first fully functional lighted blind cane: the See Me Cane.
Kelvin's journey to bring the See Me Cane to life has not been easy, but his determination and perseverance have paid off. We are proud to offer a product that not only helps those with vision impairments navigate their daily lives more safely, but also promotes visibility and helps to reduce the statistic that 1 out of 3 visually impaired individuals are hit by a car. We hope the See Me Cane can make a positive impact on the lives of those who use it.