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South Cambridgeshire mum who invented Safe Sleep baby car seat seeks seed investment



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An entrepreneurial mother-of-two who has invented a new car seat that prevents babies suffering breathing problems when they fall asleep is seeking seed investment ahead of an industry launch.

Lisa Walford, from Caldecote, secured a £130,800 grant from Research England to cover the research and development of the Safe Sleep Seat, which drivers will be able to recline wirelessly via a button attached to the windscreen or air vent.

Lisa Walford and her prototype baby seat. Picture: Keith Heppell. (30070195)
Lisa Walford and her prototype baby seat. Picture: Keith Heppell. (30070195)

Babies’ heads often slump forward when they fall asleep in a car seat, as their neck muscles are not fully developed. This can lead to seizures in babies under the age of about six months, as it can interrupt the flow of oxygen.

Lisa, a former police officer, launched her BabySafe business after watching her own daughter’s head flop forward during journeys. Finding it difficult to recline a seat while driving, she developed the concept of a seat that can be operated remotely.

It will also rotate to enable parents to make it easier for parents to get their baby in or out of the seat.

“We’ll have a finished proof of concept by the end of August and then we’ll be going to an international trade show in Germany called Kind + Jugend Cologne, to launch it to the international nursery trade industry, from September 17-20,” Lisa told the Cambridge Independent.

“Now I need the next round of investment, to pay for everything that isn’t R&D - marketing, branding, virtual crash testing and so on.”

Lisa Walford and her prototype baby seat. Picture: Keith Heppell. (30070212)
Lisa Walford and her prototype baby seat. Picture: Keith Heppell. (30070212)

A £200,000 seed investment round will help get the product, and business, ready for launch.

“We are planning to launch to the public in September 2021,” said Lisa. “Along with launching the car seat, we want to give information on why it’s safer to have the seat rear facing and why it’s dangerous to leave your baby with his or her head down. It’s so important.”

The group 0-1 car seat would cater for children from birth to four years, operating as rear-facing up to 15 months.

Three proof-of-concept models will be developed, testing the electronics and motors, with the final version entering an innovation competition at the Cologne trade show.

Lisa, who won the Baby Products Association Concept Award for the fledgling idea in 2017, raised £100,000 in crowdfunding from Crowdcube last year, but needed to reach £150,000 to complete the round and access the funds. Having fallen agonisingly short, she secured the Research England grant to continue the product’s development.

Following seed investment, the plan will be to launch a further round of investment to fund the manufacture of the seat, which Lisa hopes to do under the Baby Safe brand.

“I’ve got so many ideas for it. We’ll do a follow-ons and I’ve got another product that is baby related, in mind,” added Lisa.

Lisa Walford and her prototype baby seat. Picture: Keith Heppell. (30070222)
Lisa Walford and her prototype baby seat. Picture: Keith Heppell. (30070222)

The global car seat market is forecast to grow five per cent a year and be worth $6.25billion by 2027, according to Research and Markets.

Investors interested in participating in the seed investment round can contact lisawalford@babysafeltd.com For more, visit https://babysafeltd.com/.

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Cambridgeshire mum-of-two seeks investors for her baby car seat invention that could prevent seizures



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