Travels from California, USA
Eythor Bender's speaking fee falls
within range: $15,000 to $20,000
CEO of Berkeley Bionics, developer and maker of wearable robots, Eythor Bender works at the forefront of the new industry of bionics that aims to merge man and machine to enhance individual abilities. Eythor has a wide-ranging portfolio of experience in the manufacture of medical devices, life science and bionic devices; furthermore he has a passion for non-invasive technologies and their ability to enhance mobility, strength and safety to revolutionize the quality of life for those in need.
Always an innovator, Eythor has embraced unconventional approaches and made them into the benchmarks of his industry. A notable example is the boomerang shaped prosthesis Cheetah Flex-Foot, the development of which Eythor and his team were intimately involved with. Ultimately this prosthesis was accepted for use in the Olympic Games, and it is used by virtually every Paralympic medalist.
A native of Iceland, Eythor began his career working on medical diagnostics and computer imaging with Hewlett-Packard. Moving to the Nordic European company Ossur, leading its Americas division, he helped to take the company from start-up to world leader in wearable non-invasive technologies. During his tenure at the company turnover moved from $3 million to $380 million; Eythor not only shaped business development, sales and marketing but also remained heavily involved in product development.
Fluent in German, Icelandic and English, Eythor has a Masters in Business and Economics from Eberhard Karls University in Germany.
Eythor has championed and grown the nascent industry of biotics, taking bionic prosthetics from unconventional approaches to sustainable, approved products that merge man and machine, and enhance individuals’ participation in their community. Today and as CEO of Berkeley Bionics – developer and maker of wearable robots – Eythor is leading his company’s charge to boost everyone’s potential through personal bionics.
With extensive worldwide experience in leading medical device, life science, and bionic device companies from concept through commercialization, Eythor is an authority at defining and executing the immediate and future strategies needed to guide a company to market leadership. His personal enthusiasm for non-invasive technologies that augment mobility, strength and safety, and also provide a greatly improved quality of life for those in need, makes him a natural fit with the company’s mission.
Throughout his career, Eythor has championed innovation; fostering and spearheading creativity in medical technologies and taking them from unconventional approaches to FDA-approved products that communities aspire to. Such was the case with the boomerang-shaped prosthesis Cheetah Flex-Foot® by Ossur. Worn by Ossur Americas-sponsored, history-making, bilateral amputee Oscar Pistorius from South Africa, Eythor and his team helped him win the right to compete in the Olympics. Today the Cheetah Flex-Foot is the prosthesis used by nearly every medalist at the Paralympics.
This year, Berkeley Bionics is introducing two new exoskeletons to the market that augment mobility, strength and endurance: eLEGS powers wheelchair users up to get them standing and walking again; and HULCTM (Human Universal Load Carrier) enables users to carry up to 200 lbs. for hours and over all terrains, while reducing the likelihood of back-injuries.
Eythor is a native of Iceland, with a Masters in Business and Economics from Germany, where he began his career with Hewlett Packard in medical diagnostics and computer imaging. He went on to join Nordic-European Ossur, which pioneered the field of commercial bionics. Eythor led Ossur’s Americas division, taking it from a start-up to a world leader in the field of wearable, non-invasive technologies designed for amputees, injury prevention, rehabilitation and pain relief. He lives in San Francisco and recently spoke at TED2011 in Long Beach, California.
Previously, Eythor was the CEO of Rex Bionics. Prior to that, Eythor spent 13 years in executive management with Ossur, a global leader in the development, manufacture and distribution of non-invasive orthopedic products, serving the last six years as president of Ossur Americas. A driving force in the company’s unprecedented growth, during his tenure, the company mushroomed from a $3 million niche business to a $380 million international market leader with a global distribution network. In just three years and under his direction as president, sales for the division quadrupled. Eythor shaped the company’s strategies from a variety of perspectives, and was heavily involved in award-winning bionic product innovation, global business development, sales and marketing, 13 strategic acquisitions, and their IPO in 1999.
Prior to Ossur, Eythor worked for Hewlett Packard in Europe as Product Manager for both the Medical and the Computer Peripheral divisions.
Eythor has a Masters in Business and Economics from Eberhard-Karls University, Tübingen, Germany. He is fluent in German, Icelandic and English.
He is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and an ardent heliskiier.
Eythor Bender lays out his astonishing and inspiring vision for the future, particularly in terms of what he sees as the inevitable increasing use of bionics. He tells his audience, “We live in amazing times. Superhumans live amongst us. Nowhere can that be better seen these days than at the Paralympics; what was amazing at the last Paralympic games was that they were sold out. Through technology we are re-enabling the disabled, so much so that they are accused of having an unfair advantage."
Looking beyond the world of sport, he shows how bionics have applications in many spheres, particularly in helping wounded service personnel. Referring to Vietnam, he says, “We were accused of not taking very good care of our soldiers. That is completely flipped to the other side, now people like Scott here are back flying his F-16 even though he has lost a leg."
Explaining the motivation behind his passion for bionics, Eythor says, “So this is great, we have success for Paralympians, success for soldiers, success for trauma patients–we can't say that this isn't a good start. But it really is the tip of the iceberg, these are the people who need devices to live, what about the people who need bionic devices to survive? We need to go down below, to look at the masses, and really look at the ageing population."
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