If you have a baby on the way or already have one, two U students have a new product to keep on your radar.
Sariah Tate, a communication graduate, and Emrys Tate, Sariah’s brother-in-law and senior at the David Eccles School of Business, developed Peke•buo to make changing a baby simpler and more convenient for on-the-go parents.
Product designer, Sariah, had the idea that there needed to be a more compact, more efficient diaper bag. “What if moms could take their own personal handbag out and about, but they still had everything they needed for a baby?” she said. “That way, if the dad needs to change the baby, they don’t have to take your whole purse – they can just take the smart little diaper bag, and they’ll have access to wipes, diaper disposal bags and a changing pad!”
She started with a paper version of the prototype. She experimented with it until she found a unique design. The result? A reversible diaper bag that morphs into a changing pad. All the surfaces that touch the baby fold into themselves, and the surfaces that touch the ground never overlap with the surfaces that touch the baby. They now have a more-updated, almost-usable prototype
The student founders participated in the U’s 2016 Opportunity Quest and took third place, earning $2,000 to help pay their patent fees and to start progress on their upcoming Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. Their product is now patent pending, thanks to the funds received through Opportunity Quest.
Emrys reflected on their experience in these competitions. “Aside from the mentors, it was a great experience to go in front of the judges and stammer,” he said. “It made us get our act together. And then they asked the really hard questions. We realized that we are working with babies, and it’s important to keep them clean because their immune systems aren’t fully developed. Opportunity Quest helped us highlight the value of our product.”
The Tates also believe that society is built on good parents, which develops good citizens. They plan to implement social platforms that will expand their company to be a charitable cause instead of just a product retailer.
Their bags are still in production, and price is undetermined, but the two are working to make the product affordable for parents, yet profitable to help the business thrive. Learn more about their progress by following their upcoming Kickstarter campaign.