Mother and daughter entrepreneurs Barbara Heilman and Becca Davison took their company to the Sharks on ABC’s Shark Tank to try to get an investment.
UnbuckleMe is a tool that assists in unbuckling children’s car seats with minimum force since the law requires that 9 pounds of pressure is required to release the car seat latch. UnbuckleMe aims to make it easier for older parents, grandparents and other individuals.
The mother and daughter duo pitched to Sharks Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner, Daymond John and Guest Shark Anne Wojcicki, the founder of 23 and Me. The episode airs on Wednesday, May 6 at 10 p.m. / 9 p.m. Central on ABC.
Here’s what you should know about Unbuckle Me:
1. Heilman Is a Licensed Occupational Therapist
Barbara Heilman is a licensed occupational therapist who spent the majority of her career adapting equipment for patients with disabilities of the hand, according to the company website.
When she became a grandmother in 2015, she helped Becca with childcare when she went back to work but quickly realized that she was not able to push the button of the car seat due to arthritis in her thumb.
They looked for alternative car seats but soon realized that the law mandated the 9 lbs of pressure to release the buckle, and they decided to come up with another solution.
2. The Product is a Small Clamp Product
Unbuckle Me is a small clamp used to reduce pressure to open buckles on child car seats, which require a large amount of pressure for safety reasons.
Unbuckle Me was created to help people with conditions like Carpal Tunnel and arthritis, though mothers and grandmothers with long nails also enjoy the product.
The lever reduces the force needed to unbuckle the car seat by more than 50 percent, which would mean the force would be closer to four pounds than nine.
“Becca is a working mom in the corporate world, and was impressed by her mom’s invention,” the website reads. “She knew her mom could not be the only one who struggled with car seat buckles, especially when arthritis is so common among grandparents. After extensive market research, Becca and Barbara launched their business, and the rest is history.”
3. UnbuckleMe Is Manufactured in the USA
According to the website, UnbuckleMe is fully patented and manufactured responsibly in the USA.
It is sold online and in stores across the United States, Canada and some international locations. UnbuckleMe can also be purchased at buybuyBaby, Nordstrom and Amazon. At the time of writing, UnbuckleMe comes in five different colors and is sold for around $15 depending on the retailer.
On Amazon, UnbuckleMe has over 580 ratings and boasts a 4.5-star review rating.
4. They Were Funded Through a Successful Kickstarter Campaign
In 2017, UnbuckleMe started a Kickstarter Campaign with a $10,000 goal.
The Kickstarter exceeded the goal, raising a total of $12,844 with 343 backers and the goal to ship by April 2017.
At the time, they had already confirmed with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that there were no safety tests required since the product would remain detached from the car seat. They had also decided to manufacture in the USA to ensure maximum quality control.
5. One Founder is Certified Passenger Safety Technician
In 2018, Becca became certified as a Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) and is, according to the website, “passionate about educating and promoting child passenger safety.”
The company and product has been featured in news channels, podcasts and shows, and they were selected as a finalist for a grant in 2019.
Tune into Shark Tank on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, at 10 p.m. to see if UnbuckleMe is able to get a deal from one or more of the Sharks.