MOSCOW – Mechanical engineering students Jacob Stubbers and Katelyn Kinson, alongside College of Business and Economics students Jaeda Shnuerle and Mitch Beitia took second runner up in the technology products track of the 2022 Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge held this month.
Their interdisciplinary team developed a product and business plan for SafeFlate, a sleek water safety shirt for infants and children. Through the use of selected sensors, SafeFlate detects when children show distress in the water and automatically inflates hidden vessels that will bring them to the surface while sending a signal to parents and caregivers via an app.
On average, 11 children die from drowning each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and it is the second leading cause of death in children ages one through 14.
“We believe that we have a design that will save lives and give parents peace of mind,” Stubbers said.
Twenty-four finalist teams participated in the statewide competition hosted by Boise State University. Teams had four minutes to pitch unique solutions and business plans to judges, comprised of top business owners and leaders across the state of Idaho.
Winning teams earned cash prizes, as well as, legal and accounting services to launch their business venture. This Vandal team will use their winnings toward continuing the patent process, prototype development, and testing and calibration of the system.
Many Vandal engineers participate in student clubs and competition teams. Explore teams at uidaho.edu/engr-clubs.