The design, which swaddles the baby, allows mothers to hold their children during blue light phototherapy treatment. Most forms of blue light phototherapy keep the baby in the crib, making it harder for mothers to bond with their babies.
After winning the undergraduate division of the Greenlight Business Model Competition in March, the Swaddle-mi-Bili team was invited to move on to the International Business Model Competition
From May 1 to 3, Alexa Jones , Oliver Bloom and Vu Hoang , then biosystems engineering seniors, went to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah to pitch the model for Swaddle-mi-Bili in the competition.
After talking with nurses to get a better understanding of current treatments, most of which using blue light phototherapy to break down the bilirubin, they found a treatment which would give mothers an opportunity to hold their child during the treatment process.
There were 2,500 applicants narrowed down to 40 teams for the competition’s semi-finals. Jones said the various student start-ups competed using the customer validation model. Not only do they present their idea, but they also have to show how they believe customers will respond to the idea.
The team gathered research and spent time talking with mothers, nursing staff and doctors to validate their product.
The entire process started during their senior year, when they were assigned the task of creating a better treatment for infant jaundice in third-world countries. From there, the team worked closely with members of Spartan Innovations, a company that helps turn MSU ideas into Michigan businesses.
With the competition behind them, the team members are putting their $8,000 prize