$2.5 million funding boost backs Omeo Technology to scale up in Ōtaki
Published: Jul 23, 2019 · Updated: Dec 1, 2020
A $2.5 million investment from the Government's Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) in an innovative wheelchair company will create more than 20 jobs in Ōtaki.
Located North of Wellington, family-run business Omeo Technology is about to scale up production of state-of-the-art wheelchairs.
Omeo Technology founder and wheelchair designer Kevin Halsall says the company had outgrown its garden shed workshop and was now scattered across the greater Wellington region.
He had wanted to bring everyone back into Ōtaki and employ more people as the company struggled to meet demand.
“This funding means we can bring everything under one roof, work more efficiently and keep that business in Ōtaki. It will enable us to ramp things up a lot more quickly than we would have been able to do otherwise,” said Mr Halsall.
The wheelchairs Omeo create can be controlled by the user’s body movement and operated hands-free, and can navigate uneven terrain.
The PGF funding injection was able to help create a real buzz around the town, Mr Halsall added, with local people proud the project has helped put Ōtaki’s name out there on a global scale.
“There’s a real sense of pride this all started from a local invention and has grown into a manufacturer of such a high-tech product that really makes a difference to people’s lives. It helps to raise Otaki’s profile and bring money and further investment into the town, and we will be looking to hire 21 people through centralising production.”
“This is an important milestone along the journey of Omeo, and PGF funding has been a real shot in the arm.”
The loan announced for Omeo Technology was part of more than $3.26 million of investment, which will boost Kāpiti’s economy, support the region to attract further investment and create employment opportunities.