Daniel Merino is 15 years old and has already created We rise and ride, a vehicle that helps children with motor disabilities to live the experience of riding a bicycle.
4 min read
Imagine that you broke a leg and you cannot leave your house … this is how the 1.8 million people with cerebral palsy feel and cannot move on their own, according to figures from the Mexico Center for Special Surgery. It is to them that Daniel Merino is directing his offer: We rise and ride , a tricycle for children with disabilities.
The idea of this 15-year-old man, who admires Elon Musk and loves to play tennis, arose when he met Óscar, who suffers from this condition. Then she realized that for most moms of children with this type of disability, it is very difficult to do a recreational activity like riding a bicycle.
This, because there were not many options that allowed to raise a wheelchair to a safe, light and economical platform. “There are few bikes on the market for people with different abilities and they are very expensive (between $ 2,000 and $ 4,000). I plan to give it for $ 1,500. In itself, supporting a child with cerebral palsy is quite expensive. A chair alone costs 50,000 pesos. ”
Photo: Daniel Merino
Daniel is the son of an entrepreneur and innovative momentum runs through his veins. “ship is very important because if you want something, nobody will do anything for you. Elon Musk wanted to travel to Mars and said: I am going to do it, ”he says. That is why he asked his father to enroll him in some entrepreneurship course, since he does home school in Monterrey, Nuevo León.
This is how he came to Young ship and Innovation International (Yeii) , where together with a friend, Omar Zermeño, they developed their project.
In 2018 they took him to the Children in Action contest at the University of Monterrey (UDEM) , which won second place and was awarded 13,000 pesos for both.
His friend returned to classrooms last year and Daniel wanted to pursue the project full time, so the award was split. Now he refines the design with a partner company and the idea is to manufacture according to orders.
Daniel Merino Liceaga, father of the entrepreneur, says that he supports his son because he sees his passion and also because, in his experience, “by undertaking you learn the things you really need in life such as resilience, responsibility, critical thinking and collaboration”.
The trike has child belts and safety ties . The platform is designed to fit any type of chair, which is placed in front so that the child really lives the experience. The driver is always in control, as there is no motor.
The path has not been easy, nor has it been without errors, but Daniel has found allies. One of them, a factory owner, gave them the material to build and test some prototypes.
On possible capitalist partners, Daniel is emphatic when explaining that he would first have to analyze what he would use the money for. “I have been in this for a year and a half and it has been a path of error and trial because it didn't come out the first time. Also, although we already knew how, there are mistakes anyway, so here you always have to have the determination and continue until you finish. ”