The concept of The Saddle arose from Dr. Brian Garner’s research comparing the movement patterns of human walking to those when riding a horse. As Dr. Garner was conducting these studies and learning of the benefits of the riding movement he was inspired to pursue development of a mechanical apparatus that could accurately reproduce similar complex, three-dimensional movement patterns. The aim was to produce a simple, elegant, and reliable device that could serve as an instrument for research and evaluation, and to make such movement patterns available to those who might not otherwise have access.
The first generation prototype was constructed by a team of Baylor undergraduate engineering students in 2009. Affectionately named “Mr. Ed” by the students, it utilized spherical four-bar mechanisms to produce the motion patterns. Although the prototype worked, the mechanisms proved diffcult to construct precisely, and they strained under the weight of a rider.
It took two more prototype generations, lots of work, and the help of several teams of undergraduate and graduate students to ultimately arrive at the current design. The current production design is assembled by the company from standard, off-the-shelf parts, and from custom parts manufactured in the Central Texas region of the United States.
Chariot Innovations, Inc. was founded in November 2014 with the mission to improve people’s lives through motion-based products and technologies. These technologies, beginning with The Saddle, have been, and are being, developed and licensed out of Baylor University. The company name was inspired by the Bible verse 2 Kings 6:17, which refers to God’s provision of “horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha”. The chariot can be seen as a symbol of protection for the vulnerable, and as a mode of lifting people up and carrying them forward.
Dr. Brian Garner, Founder
I grew up in Austin, Texas, obtaining degrees in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas in Austin. In 2002 I was blessed with the opportunity to join the engineering faculty at Baylor University to teach and pursue my research interests in Biomechanics. I greatly enjoy working with students at Baylor and teaching courses including Statics, Machine Design, Biomechanics, and the capstone Engineering Design course.
I am also truly blessed with a wonderful wife, Margie, and four wonderful children, Abigail, Anna, Noah, and Daniel. They each amaze me in their own special ways.
Since youth I have prayed that God would develop and use the talents and abilities He gave me to honor Him and to be a blessing to other people. I believe The Saddle and its technology is a gift from Him, and I truly hope it can and will be a great blessing to many people.
BOARD AND INVESTORS
David Reid serves as the Executive Director of the Baylor Angel Network (BAN). As Executive Director, he provides strategic and operational oversight for BAN.
David leverages two decades of experience as a business lawyer and corporate executive for companies across all stages of the business life cycle, from start-ups to multi-national public companies.
David has a particular passion for entrepreneurial organizations, which accelerated when he served as the first attorney dedicated to supporting the Travelocity business unit in its early days. David went on to play key legal and business roles in Travelocity’s rapid growth, international development, strategic transactions, successful public event (NASDAQ: TVLY) and subsequent going-private transaction. David has also served as an active member of numerous Boards of Directors around the world.
Robert J. Knorr is founder and principal of Cogent Inc., a boutique consulting company specializing in healthcare reimbursement strategy. Using an expansive network of regulatory, legislative, and policy experts, Mr. Knorr has helped public and private companies build novel business models supported by reliable government and commercial reimbursement. His work in this area has directly contributed to strategic acquisitions involving several private healthcare companies.
Mr. Knorr earned graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Fairleigh-Dickinson University after completing his undergraduate studies at Drexel University. He has also studied at the London Business School and the University of North Carolina.
During the 1990’s Mr. Knorr lived overseas where he created several unique enterprises that successfully introduced leading healthcare products into the developing markets of Eastern, Central, and Western Europe. Over the past decade he has worked with leaders in Congress, FDA, CMS, VA, and the AMA on policy, payment, procedural, and coding matters. His work in this area has provided access to several patient-centric technologies and improved the quality of care for individuals with chronic diabetes and cardiovascular conditions.
During his 25+ year international business career, Mr. Knorr founded five enterprises in corporate and start-up environments including one of the nation’s fastest growing private companies, Tapestry Medical Inc. Tapestry was subsequently acquired by Alere Inc., [NYSE: ALR] a market-leading healthcare company, where, as CEO of Alere Home Monitoring, Mr. Knorr led the Corporation’s fastest growing division to become one of the nation’s leading providers of remote healthcare services and related products.
In recent years, Mr. Knorr has had the opportunity to apply his experience and strategic leadership skills to the non-profit sector in organizations such as the Jim Ryun Running Camps, Barnabas Group of Silicon Valley, and Knorr Family Foundation. Mr. Knorr is also a frequent guest lecturer at healthcare conferences, trade associations, and university campuses. In his spare time he enjoys running, skiing, and rowing.
Petty has taught at Virginia Tech University, Texas Tech University, the University of Texas at Austin, and served as the dean of the business school at Abilene Christian University. At Baylor University, he has been designated as a University Master Teacher, the highest honor bestowed by the University on a faculty member. His research interests include valuation and acquisitions of privately-held companies, the financing of entrepreneurial firms, and shareholder value-based management.
He has served as the co-editor for the Journal of Financial Research and as the editor of the Journal of Entrepreneurial and Small Business Finance. He has published in numerous finance journals and is the co-author of two leading corporate finance textbook, Basic Financial Management, and Foundations of Finance, and co-author of a widely used text, Small Business Management. He conducted a study sponsored by the Financial Executive International on exit strategies in privately held companies (Harvesting Investments in Private Companies). He also co-authored Value-Based Management: Corporate America’s Response to the Shareholder Revolution, (Harvard Business School Press/Oxford University Press), the original edition of the current book.
Petty has served as a subject matter expert on a best-practices study by the American Productivity and Quality Center on the topic of shareholder value based management. He also served on a research team for the Australian Department of Industry to study the feasibility of establishing a public equity market for small and medium-sized enterprises in Australia. He has also taught in an executive MBA program in Thailand and China and conducted seminars in Indonesia and Russia. Finally, he serves on the Board of Directors of a publicly-traded oil and gas firm.
Mr. J. Patrick Horner, also known as Pat, served as the Chief Executive Officer of E5 Systems, Inc. Mr. Horner served as President of Management Support Technologies, the lead consulting unit of Condor Technology Solutions from 1997 to 1998. Mr. Horner served as Senior Vice President of Intersolv Corporation from 1995 to 1997. Mr. Horner was the Founder, Sales Executive and Senior Manager of Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS) in the Government Systems Group. During