The Baby Life Seat (BLS) prototype was developed between 1998 and 2001 by Tom Giacoponello and Pete Bedard (who passed away in 2004). Tom is an entrepreneur who has started and run 2 successful businesses in New York and Pennsylvania, USA. Pete is a highly creative entrepreneur who, as a pharmacist, started a fish and pet medication small business. Both avid boaters, we saw the need for an easy-to-use and transport baby safety flotation device. The United States Coast Guard was excited we would tackle this vital project to develop a certified and required PFD (personal flotation device) modeled on an easy to transport and use infant car seat. Existing portable baby life jackets were bulky, difficult to put on in an emergency and were lacking in many ways and ill-suited for open water (Type 1) use. The Coast Guard agreed to work with us by providing advice.
In 2001, 2 months before the 9-11 disaster in the United States, our prototype passed all tests leading to certification. After 9-11, funding dried up and when the economy started to improve, Pete passed away from boating injuries.
Tom’s family responsibilities, including raising 2 pre-teenage children as a full-time single parent, shelved the BLS project until 2013. Two investors made equity investments to get the groundwork started to jump start project funding as well as identify the key contributors to final production and certification.
In 2019, we conducted a Facebook survey regarding infant car seat preferences which ended in August:
· 84.9% of respondents were aged 18-35;
· 41.3% being new parents;
· Over 800 of the 1,000 respondents ranked government certification, and over 700 ranked portability, as their dominant buying factors.
· 62.6% are willing to pay more for our features.
A key advisor, Nikki DiCaro, joined our team as a minority stockholder. Nikki is a serial entrepreneur investor who is actively engaged in helping us obtain funding.
The BLS Consulting Team is rounded out to include:
· a uniquely qualified engineering team with in-depth U.S. Navy, aircraft and baby car seat experience;
· a manufacturing & quality production manager with 20 years’ experience producing UL and Coast Guard certified lifesaving equipment.
All participants share in common a dedication to bring to market this infant safety and travel safety product that will revolutionize water travel for infants and toddlers. The Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization and countless infant safety and family focused non-profit organizations have been vocal about the lack of safety in this sector. In addition to developing and commercializing the Baby Life Seat, our goals include expanding, developing and commercializing many safety products and resources and organizing them into one centralized infant and child safety portal.