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Horn Entrepreneurship

Hx Innovations Inc: Advancements for Athletes

Hx Innovations Inc. Advancements for Athletes Article ImageTo make progress and be successful, a plan is always the best course of action. Planning can provide structure, efficiency, clarity, and a plethora of other things that can be beneficial in all facets in life. More specifically, athletes, trainers, and coaches can make some real headway with a clear course of action to improve physicality, win games, and break records. This is where movement analytics comes in to provide valuable detailed information that can be used to ensure athletes achieve peak health, safety and performance.

Wilmington, DE-based biotechnology startup Hx Innovations, Inc.®, founded in 2019 by Nicole M. Homer, MBA and her husband Von Homer, Ph.D., provides information to help evaluate muscle activity, player performance, injury risk, and wellness to trainers, coaches, and athletes by utilizing video cameras in tandem with movement analytic technology. With the assessment of an individual's motion, certain information is able to be determined such as player ranking, positioning, conditioning strategies, and return to play protocols to optimize performance and safeguard their players from injuries sustained to feet, ankles and more.

As cofounders of Hx, Von and Nicole each brought their own unique prowess and strengths to the table. Von, as chief scientist with a background in neuroergonomics and pedorthics, brought the science of the software to the table. Nicole, on the other hand, brought innovation expertise from her MBA to take this on a business path in the biotech industry despite her education in political science and African American studies. With both their skill sets combined this extraordinary technology can now be utilized for the benefit of teams and individual athletes. 

Gladly, we were able to connect with Homer to discuss Hx. Innovations Inc. and learn more about her background, goals for herself and also her projects. 

Horn: An example of how the movement analytics affect a coach/trainer or athlete?

Homer: “We're trying to scale to teams and leagues. But we do take individual assessments. So we have a gait assessment that would determine your stability, your levels of muscle fatigue, and just how you walk. So you could come in and get insights to see where you are now and get stronger. We will give you recommendations on different exercises that you could use to get stronger and you can take it to your personal trainer and start building up programs around it. So it's almost a customized system for you. Also our reports are tracking. So when you come back, we will compare you to your last report, and then tell you how you've improved and then we can sign you up to get assessments done every month, so that you can continue to improve and reach your peak performance.”

Horn: Why is Hx Innovations Inc. special? Can you share some notable accomplishments and/or accolades?

Homer: “It's just special for so many different reasons. I mean, I never thought that I would be able to build a company with my husband, it's very difficult, but I enjoy it. Regarding accomplishments, we've been able to win over $250,000 in pitch competitions, raise over almost $500,000 in grants and awards, acquire lead investors to help us meet our milestones, and we get a lot of support from the Delaware ecosystem and the Horn program. Some accolades include winning ‘Most Promising Company of the Year’ for two years in a row, ‘Small Startup Business of the Year 2021’,  and recognition at the Horn 17&43 awards. We're also a part of the Delaware prosperity partnership. We have so many great partnerships so we've been able to really establish ourselves as leaders and as a really promising company in the state of Delaware that specifically focuses on human movement analytics.”

Horn: What goals do you have for yourself and for your company?

Homer: “A goal that I have for myself is to really help other businesses have more of a strategy to implement their business plan. The experiences that I've been able to gain from growing and establishing Hx,  I want to be able to help other companies do the same and figure out different angles and opportunities that they can take advantage of, to implement the business plan that they have taken so much time to create.  My goal for Hx is to get it to the point where we're launching and where we're experiencing the vision. So far, we've met all of our milestones for 2021 and 2022. We have great milestones set for 2023. And there's no reason why we won't be able to meet those milestones as well. So continuing to move things along and do the plan and be resilient, flexible and agile so that we can get it done.”

Horn: What are you most proud of?

Homer: “What am I most proud of? I didn't always know what I wanted to do. I had a thought process that was different and it was difficult for me to accept the fact that I was capable of actually accomplishing big things. Let me take away my own barriers and see what I can actually do. Like, what if there is no color, no gender, no nothing? Right? Then what would I do? I started operating in that way and so the thing I'm most proud of is getting out of my own way and allowing myself to become who I am while not being afraid to do so.”

Horn: How has the University of Delaware shaped you into who you are today?

Homer: “I started a registered student organization called S.P.I.T. which stands for Stimulating Pros Ideas and Theories and UD gave me the tools and the wherewithal to know that I could start something and how to do it. Like, what funding do you need? How are you going to use your finances to help you meet those milestones? Who do you need on your team? Knowing how to get a person who's good with money, or a person who's good with sales and marketing. A person who's good with operations. UD helped me to be able to navigate a huge system and figure out how to get things done and established in starting that registered student organization and then having it grow. So I think that that really helped shape me and then the professors that I had were really good and instrumental in helping me get through things.”

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Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement at the University of Delaware. Currently ranked among the best entrepreneurship programs in the US, Horn Entrepreneurship was built and is actively supported by successful entrepreneurs, empowering aspiring innovators as they pursue new ideas for a better world.

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