The Oakford Group

Minor Injury Leads Physical Therapist to a New Idea

By Ruth Bertram, Journalism Intern, Turner Center for Entrepreneurship, Bradley University

Andy Champion: father, husband, full-time Physical Therapist, and rising entrepreneur, is making big moves with his device, the Invertabelt.

Champion discovered his love for physical therapy during his time as a division one athlete at Northern Illinois University. Being a former athlete himself, Champion thought he wanted to spend his time treating sports injuries. However, he quickly discovered his love for working with the general public and decided to branch out.

“Life takes you where you don’t expect it,” said Champion.
Andy pic

After hurting his back while transporting a patient, Champion attempted to treat himself with standard exercise procedures. However, during his treatment process, Champion noticed he was struggling to perform the right maneuvers on his own. As a result, Champion was inspired to create the Invertabelt.

The Invertabelt is a device that allows an individual to perform clinical quality treatment to themselves while in the comfort of their own home.

According to Champion, this device is an aid for patients to use 2-3 times per day outside of a traditional clinic. 

With a product idea in hand, and collaborating with his trusted advisor, Ted Greene, Andy started his business, The Oakford Group, alongside his business partner Jana Bruesch.

During the beginning process of his product launch, Champion was referred to the Illinois Small Business Development Center [SBDC] at Bradley University.

When reflecting on his time spent with the SBDC advisors, Champion claims that they were a tremendous help.

“They helped me cultivate my ideas and build an infrastructure,” said Champion.models standing

With the help of the SBDC, the Invertabelt was entered into the 2016 Brave Launch and won both Best Business Model and People’s Choice Awards.

Champion plans to continue working with the SBDC in hopes to further his success with the Invertabelt and possibly start continuing education classes for Physical Therapists.models on floor

Despite his success, Champion claims that the biggest challenge he faces is managing his time while balancing his career, family, and future plans with the Oakford Group.

When asked what advice he would give to aspiring entrepreneurs, Champion encourages them to find their passion and strive for success.

“When you’re passionate about it, it doesn’t feel like work,” said Champion.

For more information on The Oakford Group and the Invertabelt, you can contact them via email at oakford@theoakfordgroup.com or by visiting their website www.invertabelt.com.