Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Jamie Wallace of Childproof Straw Talks about Her Startup

How did come up with the idea for a childproof straw?

I have three toddlers! They all love yogurt and due to lack of time, I started stabbing a straw straight through the top of the yogurt container! It worked great but I got sick of the spills all over the house from the straw falling out . Same problem with juice boxes, milk cartons, drinking cups… The concept hit me out of nowhere and I grabbed some “tools” around the house and built a straw with offshoots. The addition goes through the top (or lid) and the offshoots prevent removal!

Have you done any patent searches on it?

We’ve checked and there’s no prior art. We have a provisional application filed.

How are you pursuing the market?

We started a survey to get feedback from the market. It’s went to 29 states and 5 countries in just four days. It’s overwhelmingly positive. My goal is to get it to all fifty states. This helps validate the market.

What’s the next step?

We plan to license the technology to the food/drink companies such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kraft, General Mills, major straw manufacturers and more. We want “The Childproof Straw” or “Secure Straw” to be on every super market shelf, served with every child drink, and an addition to Juice or Milk cartons, pouches, boxes…

How is that going?

It takes time to work your way through the system at these large companies. Also, we have found that typically the manufacturing is ending up in China.

You may want to start with smaller, local companies to build up a base.
I agree, we are going to start focusing more of our energy that direction going forward.

What are some of the interesting feedbacks you’ve received from the survey so far?

People have been overwhelmingly excited about the idea. The product seems like a no-brainer to parents. We literally have hundreds of comments on why they like it. Here are some of my favorites!

“I could see this straw being handy for the elderly and for use in hospitals. I would not limit your marketing solely on small children.” Cedar park, TX

“Why not just replace the stupid straws on the market now with the smarter straw described here!” Pacifica,CA

“This is the kind of thing that would make a restaurant or certain brand of drink stand out above competitors. This is something moms would recommend by word of mouth as quickly as possible! "...and they even have these amazing kid friendly...!" Austin, TX

“Solves a very common child related dilemma in a seemingly easy and inexpensive way.” Vienna, VA

“My son has speech problems and is supposed to use straws instead of sippy's (for the muscles around his mouth), but I am so tired of all the spills. Thanks!” Monroe, OH

Best regards
Hall T.

No comments: