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Innovation & Startups

Pittsburgh newlywed entrepreneurs create stylin' diabetes Pump Peelz

For a child with diabetes, a colorful insulin pump cover can put a splash of fun where it’s needed most.
That’s the idea behind Pump Peelz, a Pittsburgh-based venture founded by Scott and Emily Imblum, high school sweethearts who married this year. Scott, whose wife Emily has Type 1 diabetes, came up with the idea one day when he was looking at her Omnipod-brand insulin pump.
“Wearing a pump all the time isn’t much fun,” says Scott. “If we can make it customizable, it becomes more of an accessory. They’re fun, cute and cool.”
Scott first sent feelers out to the diabetes community and the response for an Omnipod cover was overwhelming. So he bootstrapped it and created plastic prototypes with the help of the engineering department at California University of Pennsylvania.

Emily worked with several designers to create 60 different cover designs, from an adorable ladybug, the top seller, to other colorful designs and artsy graphics.
The manufacturing piece for the “coated vinyl adhesives” came together through PrintScape in Robinson. The company launched in August 2011.

While Scott, who is a business development manager at the Pittsburgh Tech Council, isn’t quitting his day job yet, sales are brisk. Omnipod, the pump company, is slowly warming up to the idea of collaborating with Pump Peelz, he says.
A co-branded event in Disney World is in the planning. Pump Peelz plans to expand into a line of soft goods, cool travel bags, purses and wallets with insulation and compartments in all the right places.
“Our goal is to empower diabetics to express themselves and be proud of their ability to manage diabetes,” he says. 

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Scott Imblum, Pump Peelz
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