Two years ago, Bob Steffen was desperately seeking money so he could bring his invention, a child car seat monitor, to market.
He’s still seeking investors, but he’s not nearly so desperate. In fact, Steffen told me last week, potential investors are now approaching him.
That’s because his business, Cars-N-Kids, hit a couple of big milestones this summer. It got a U.S. patent and reached agreement with a major car seat manufacturer that will install and sell his monitor.
Steffen is now negotiating with electronics manufacturers, who weren’t so keen to work with him when he was peddling a speculative idea with an unclear path to market.
“They’ve started cooperating with the product now because we have a purchase order from a big company,” he said.
Steffen expects the monitor to be assembled in the United States, and Tomy, a Japanese maker of children’s products, says it will be available this fall as part of a new First Years iAlert car seat.
The monitor is designed to prevent a couple of dangerous situations: Infants left unattended in a vehicle, and older kids who unbuckle themselves while the car is moving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 33
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