In 2018, Erica Cole, a University of Iowa senior studying Chemistry, had no idea what her life had in store for her after losing her leg in a tragic car accident. Little did she know that when returning to campus that fall, that tragedy would fuel an idea that would change her life.

Her idea, No Limbits, is a ready-to-wear, adaptive clothing brand with the mission of increasing comfort, confidence, and independence in those who struggle with clothing due to a disability. After seeing that Iowa JPEC was hosting a pitch competition, Erica realized her idea could have value.

“The first pitch competition I ever did was the IdeaStorm competition,” Erica said. “I didn’t think I would be starting a business; I just saw there was a small competition where I could win money and decided to go for it. After I won first place, my idea kind of took off.”

Between that first competition and her graduation in 2019, Erica seized every opportunity Iowa JPEC had to offer, competing in Iowa Startup Games, joining Founders Club, and participating in the Hawkeye Summer Accelerator to grow No Limbits. In April 2019, she took one of three top prizes at the statewide Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition. That July, she won first place in the University Pitch Madness Competition in Chicago, competing against top student startups from seven universities.

“I am still in touch with my Iowa JPEC mentors even though I’ve been out of the program for a couple of years,” Erica said. “It was helpful to have a weekly meeting while I was in the program, some accountability and mentorship from people who have been there before. The mentors were awesome.”

After graduating Erica found new opportunities to grow her company. In Summer 2020, she participated in the Target Incubator. There, she met with the VP for Clothing & Accessories at Target and learned what it takes to partner with a large retailer. This experience also helped No Limbits find an ethical and sustainable supply chain for their products.

Erica was also accepted into the prestigious Halcyon Incubator in Washington DC this past fall. “The person who founded Halcyon has so many connections in the DC area including many associations and the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). We came out here to figure out how we can partner with those associations and Halcyon has really provided those connections for us.”

These experiences have propelled No Limbits forward these past few months. Last month they announced the Amp Pant, jeans designed to make dressing and undressing with a prosthesis easier. They launched a Kickstarter campaign to presell some of the clothing and pay for a large order from a manufacturer that met their ethical and sustainable goals. Only 6 days after launching, they met their goal and are continuing to see more growth on the campaign.

“I'm just hoping that the Amp Pant makes that first step of the day easier for people. When that first step is a challenge, it sets the tone for the rest of the day. So, I’m hoping No Limbits can provide a little bit more independence for people and make life a little bit easier.”

The future is looking limitless for Erica and No Limbits. They are currently in the middle of raising a pre-seed round and are looking forward to closing that round in the near future. After that, they are hoping to grow their existing customer base and product offerings to welcome new customers into the No Limbits family.