Since winning Pitch to Win in October 2019, Diana Hall’s business ActivArmor has grown and pivoted to meet emerging market needs.
In 2019, Diana was one of seven small-business owners invited to Nationwide’s corporate offices in Columbus, Ohio, to pitch their business to a panel of judges. Her pitch of ActivArmor, the first commercially available 3D-printed casting and splinting company in the U.S. marketplace, impressed the judges. Diana was named the grand prize winner and was awarded with $100,000 to grow ActivArmor.
Nationwide's contributions helped ActivArmor fill the gap between the seed funding and angel investor phase of her business. "Winning really helped me get over the hump of becoming profitable," Diana said.
While COVID-19 slowed the process of opening clinics, and the subsequent cancellations of sporting events impacted demand for casts and splints, Diana was able to pivot into producing masks for health care workers, the airline industry and the general public. ActivArmor's immobilization devices are hygienic, waterproof, breathable and custom designed to fit each patient. Diana applied the technology she uses in creating 3D-printed casts and splints to develop and produce masks that are customized to perfectly fit each user’s face. Each mask is transparent, so the user's facial expressions are visible. "ActivArmor is known for its core competency, which is 3D-printed exoskeletons that can be created to fit perfectly due to body mapping," Diana said.
ActivArmor's ability to be agile allowed the company to pivot quickly to supply the increasing demand for custom-fit, reusable masks; the company was supplied with a list of problems to solve and requirements to meet. ActivArmor got to work building and testing masks, and was able to quickly shift as new requirements came in. "It was really cool to be a small company, because I could pivot quickly," Diana said.