Flinders University’s New Venture Institute’s Venture Dorm Graduation program saw seven finalists battle for $80,000 worth of prizes last night, with a battery-powered thermos for baby milk taking home the Gold eNVIe.
The Warm’n’Ready invention, developed by Daniel Lauterio, won prizes including a trip to Austin, Texas, for the SXSW start-up festival for its creator.
The device gives mums and dads on the go the confidence of knowing that their baby formula will be at the perfect temperature for up to seven hours, no matter how far they are from home.
Mr Lauterio spent hundreds of hours interviewing parents to find out what they felt were the biggest problems in feeding their baby on the go. There worries included concern about carrying boiling water in a regular thermos and using microwaves to heat plastic bottles because of potential chemical leakage from the bottle.
Warm’n’Ready comprises an insulated stainless-steel vessel with a built-in 12-volt lithium-ion battery that keeps water at a constant temperature between 38 and 45C.
“It features an easy-to-pour lid design so you can fill up your child’s bottle in any location – in a car, on a plane, on a boat or a train,” Mr Lauterio told InDaily.
“There’s nothing like this on the market designed for parents – an everyday thermos keeps things hot. Babies don’t want hot.
“Babies want it nice and warm and they want it instantly. Warm’n’Ready gives you that – it eliminates the guesswork.”
He said the product would soon be on the market, with the first units available early next year for $99 each.
Mr Lauterio said he hoped that raising his profile at the eNVIes would also attract investors to speed that process along.
The Silver eNVIe went to Grant Bailey for his Quuee social commerce video platform, which helps internet browsers discover beauty experts with 25,000 or fewer YouTube followers. Its aim is to better engage its users in social commerce.
The People’s choice award, meanwhile, went to Alex Tolson, Alex Pearce and Matthew Freeman for their smartBBQ, a cooking system with internet connectivity that ensures meals are cooked to perfection every time.
NVI director Matt Salier said the Venture Dorm Program helped develop the next generation of start-ups and gave the winners the chance to take their ideas to a global audience.
“Exposing our passionate entrepreneurs to global markets is an important part of the Venture Dorm program. We believe this will ensure their start-ups survive and thrive in a changing market,” he said.
Earlier in the day, InDaily hosted the Disrupters event, which featured a panel of entrepreneurial success stories including Vinomofo, Uber and Expr3ss!