San Francisco, CA – July 13, 2017 – The founder and CEO of WHILL, Satoshi Sugie, has been named to the prestigious group of 40 Under 40 by the Silicon Valley Business Journal for 2017. Satoshi worked for Nissan as a car designer before co-founding WHILL with Muneaki Fukuoka, previously of Olympus’ medical device division, and Jun Naito from Sony. Satoshi founded WHILL, Inc. in 2012 in Tokyo, Japan with the mission of developing Personal Electric Vehicles (EVs) for both able-bodied people and those with mobility issues. Of particular concern are the 20% of Americans that will be over the age of 65 by 2050 and how their mobility related issues will be addressed. The team also identified the estimated number of people with severe disabilities growing to 25.9 million by 2020. So, in 2013, Satoshi moved WHILL to the Silicon Valley to establish a U.S. headquarters. In the short span of three years since WHILL’s arrival in the US, the company has:
- Won multiple international design and technology awards such as CES Innovations Award, Engadget’s Best of CES Award, IDEA Award and Good Design Award.
- Developed a remote control iPhone App for the Model A
- Earned FDA clearance for the Model M
- Been awarded an FSS contract for the VA
- Provided new and innovative mobility to more than 1,000 users worldwide