Baby Bootie Stays Up All Night
Three families’ lives were spared tragedy thanks to one small thing: a sock.
Babies Andrew, Pia, and Easton all stopped breathing in the night. But because all three were wearing the Owlet Smart Sock, their stories were spared potentially tragic endings.
“To think of how different those families would be if Owlet hadn’t alerted the babies’ parents is very humbling,” says Jordan Monroe, Owlet Care cofounder and 2014 management alum.
This baby bootie, designed for infants to wear while sleeping, sends real-time information and alerts to parents on their children’s vitals, including oxygen levels and heart rate, via smartphones. The company began at BYU three years ago, when the cofounders were Marriott School students.
“Owlet was just a big fat hypothesis for two-and-a-half years,” Monroe says. “We didn’t know if our idea was technologically possible.”
Even so the group received recognition early on for their business plan, winning several student competitions, including the International Business Model Competition, before going into a beta-testing phase. Following three successful and possibly lifesaving alerts, Owlet announced on 22 October that they are making their product available to all consumers.
“We weren’t positive until recently that the monitor would alert accurately enough for someone to react with sufficient time to make a difference,” Monroe explains. “That’s why the announcement is so important to us.”
As for now, the company is growing faster than they ever imagined. They’ve gone from their original team of twelve to thirty-three and will scale up to fifty by the end of the year. With new funding totaling $7.5 million, it doesn’t look like Owlet will be slowing down anytime soon.
“I think we’ll continue to grow really fast,” Monroe says. “It’s scary but we’ll keep doing it. We really believe that Owlet will be something as vital to child safety as the car seat.”
But, Monroe says, it’s not just the success and growth that keeps them going.
“When you’re working on something that has big potential to improve people’s lives dramatically its really powerful,” he says. “That’s the driving motivation.”