A local man bared his nipples and bottles to the producers of the CBC’s Dragons’ Den when they were recently in Kelowna, and it’s earned him a chance to pitch the high profile investors in their Toronto studio later this month.
Brent Markus, of Help Save Mom Inc., will be in front of the Dragons with his Breastfeeding Bottle April 27 and he’s hoping he’ll convince them an investment of $200,000 in exchange for 25 per cent of the company’s equity and 10 per cent in royalties will offer rewards in both dollars and feel-good points.
Markus came up with the idea to create what he believes to be the ultimate breast-like bottle in look and feel in 2012 after his daughter Olivia was born.
She came into the world a healthy 8.4 lbs, but within days she shed nearly two pounds as her mother struggled to produce enough of her own milk.
“When I designed this product it was from a father’s point of view. We were forced to aid her feeding with a bottle and it became a lot of work,” he said. “Olivia became confused and she wanted to latch on to whatever worked. We were firm believers in breastfeeding, but after six months she wouldn’t take the breast.”
That’s when he realized there was a huge need for a product that didn’t cause “nipple confusion.”
There are already countless products on the market that claim to help breast-feeding mothers both bottle feed and remain the primary feeder, but what they don’t have, said Markus, is a realistic feel and touch.
“Babies are sensory based—and this is a full-domed bottle,” he said, adding it’s made of a silicone that when filled with milk warms and feels a lot like human skin.
“All the other bottles, they offer a nipple, but not a full breast. In that first 12 months that the baby is breast feeding, using a regular bottle will cause nipple confusion. There is nothing like this out there. “
If any dad is going to know the full range of bottles on the market, it might be Markus. He’s not just a concerned parent, he’s also the son to the manufacturer of the Adiri bottle. Another locally made bottle that can be found through multiple retailers.
“I have been in the market, and I watch the market and I know there’s a need for a product that will give a mom a choice when she can’t breastfeed,” he said. “And now we have our next daughter on the way in two and a half months, and I’m working hard to make sure the product is ready.”
Although he’ll be before the Dragons at months end, there’s no guarantee that his pitch will make it past the cutting room floor.
The executive producer of the program, however, has said to Markus that she loved their “message and pitch” and they’ve been working together to see that it has legs.
For more information on the bottle go to www.thebreastfeedingbottle.com