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Meet the Founder,
Kate Allan

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That's Kate

ExpHand Prosthetics founder Kate Allan started the business during her final year at Loughborough University where she studied Product Design Engineering.

"I met a little girl called Zoey and knew I wanted to design an arm that would fit her as she grew and that she'd feel comfortable wearing too."

ExpHand Founder Kate Allan

Where it all began


Back in 2017 we met a little girl called Zoey who was born with below elbow limb loss. She'd never been offered a prosthetic and we wanted to change that.

We did some research and found that like Zoey, 90% of people across the world don't have access to the prosthetics they need. This is mostly due to lack of doctors, lack of access and expensive products.

Also, kids grow out of prosthetics really quickly, which makes it even harder to make sure they've got the prosthetics they need. 

So we set out to design a prosthetic specifically for kids, and we came up with the ExpHand.

Our prostheses are designed for kids like Zoey

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From a dissertation project to ExpHand Prosthetics: Our company journey

We all know what it's like to have that 'Eureka!' moment. The heart is pounding and the palms are sweaty as we find it hard to believe that such a great idea (finally) entered our minds.

Three years ago, now ExpHand Prosthetics Founder, Kate Allan, was in a very similar situation. As a final-year Product Design Engineering student, Kate was searching for a dissertation idea with a purpose. It wasn't until she met Zoey, a little girl with congenital limb-loss, that Kate realised her potential to change lives.

“My dissertation was my chance to prove that engineering can make a true difference to someone’s life. I had thought about designing a medical device before, but it was my encounter with Zoey that made me aware of the lack of suitable prosthetic limbs for children”

ExpHand Founder Kate Allan

The super-powers of 3D-printing

3D-printing has completely transformed prosthetic devices from the way we knew them previously. Words such as 'stiff', 'ugly', and 'expensive' now belong to the past thanks to this revolutionary technology.


The manufacturing process allows customised artificial arms to be ready in a few days and at the fraction of the price of other devices available. Kate’s prosthetics are manufactured using PLA, a biodegradable plastic, which means her prostheses can be repurposed or recycled when they are no longer needed.

ExpHand Founder Kate Allan

From a university project to a business

Armed with a 3D-printer and Zoey in mind, Kate Allan was on a mission, and had already designed the ExpHand by the end of her final year of university. Unlike previous devices, Kate's upper-limb prosthesis is affordable, adjustable, and customisable, with a life span of up to 7 years. Children aged 3+ can easily fit the prosthesis themselves, without needing to visit a specialist.

Kate’s project was a success among her peers and supervisors. Loughborough University staff  encouraged Kate to turn her dissertation idea into a business. In the space of six weeks, ExpHand Prosthetics was established, bringing Kate closer to fulfilling her promise.

And the journey was just beginning! In 2019, Kate won the Loughborough University Undergraduate Business of the Year Award. She was also crowned Ingenuity19’s Experian Entrepreneur of the Year, and selected to participate in the EIT Healthcare Entrepreneurship Summer School, BioCity Business Accelerator Programme, and Engineers in Business Competition.

“These opportunities have taught me a lot – providing expert mentoring and invaluable networking opportunities as well as much needed funding to accelerate the business while raising the profile of ExpHand.”
ExpHand Founder Kate Allan, Reflecting on her and the company’s achievements so far.

Lastly, why not also take a look at this video on starting a new business in the STEM sector, also featuring ExpHand’s Kate Allan - and don’t forget to check out our media section for more on our company, our blog for news and inspirational stories from the limb-difference community, and our FAQ section for straightforward answers to common questions about prosthetics and life with a limb difference.


Since starting ExpHand Prosthetics Kate Allan and her team have been grateful to receive awards from the likes of Innovate UK, EIT Health and Med-Tech Innovation. Some of our recent successes are highlighted below.

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Innovate UK Next Steps Award Winner

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Young Innovators Award Winner

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Minerva Pitch Up Competition Winner


3D Printing Award Winner

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New Business of the Year Winner

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Healthcare Entrepreneurship Competition Winner

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Future Leaders Award Winner

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Experian Entrepreneur of the Year Winner

Making this possible with

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