Effective immediately, manufacturers of products of the children's and baby outfitting industry can apply online for the Kind + Jugend Innovation Award 2018. The Innovation Award distinguishes excellent and innovative products in a total of eight categories, which are presented at Kind+Jugend and will be on sale in retail outlets in the coming season. The Innovation Award winners' seal is a convincing quality criterion and an internationally recognised sales promotion tool. The winners are nominated by a jury consisting of international trade journalists, health and safety experts. The application deadline is 25 June 2018.
To apply online for the Innovation Award: http://www.kindundjugend.de/kindundjugend/Die-Messe/Events-und-Kongresse/Innovation-Award/Online-Anmeldung/index.php
The potential inherent in participation in the Kind + Jugend Innovation Awards is the subject of a report by the managing director of the pram manufacturer Heetee Baby Company Samuel García Gil for Kind + Jugend. The British start-up asserted itself with the innovative pram prototype Heetee Power System in the category "World of Moving Kids" of the Innovation Awards 2017. The model utilises the energy generated by pushing to heat the buggy, warm up a bottle or charge a smartphone.
What inspired you to make your power-generating pram?
I am the type of person who likes to look closely at things wherever I go and to think about how things work. And then I usually start thinking about how that product or service could be improved. That probably has something to do with my technical training. For me it's in any case self-explanatory. Having to wake up very early, every day on my way to work I found the first 15 minutes inside the car until the heating started creating a nicer ambient inside extremely unpleasant. I had a friend who sometimes picked me up. He had a nicer car with heated seats, and the first thing I would do when he came to pick me up was to switch on the seats. I felt an instant sensation of comfort.
One day I was walking on the Millennium Bridge (London) and saw a baby in a pram shivering. I felt so sorry for him, poor baby, and straight away I thought about the pleasant sensation when I switch on the heated seats. As of that moment I started to think about the idea of incorporating heated seats into a pram to provide maximum comfort for babies.
Your presentation at the Innovation Award has paid off! Your pram was what everyone was talking about at Kind + Jugend. What does this distinction mean to you and your company?
The trade fair absolutely paid off. And to have won the award is the icing on the cake, really. Kind + Jugend is of course the most important trade fair for baby and children's products worldwide, and although I know precisely what a fantastic product the Mayfair is, and how much effort we invest in design and engineering to make it attractive and user friendly, how much testing for safety, reliability and durability is involved, although I know all of this and have experienced it up close, it is nonetheless such an honour that an institution like Kind +Jugend also recognises the excellence of the product.
When Heetee was announced as winner, that was something really special. The fact that a start-up is able to assert itself for such an award over large and established companies sends, in my opinion, a clear message to everybody that a highly motivated team of engineers with fresh ideas, passion and enthusiasm can really make a difference.
In your eyes, what is the advantage of Kind + Jugend and the participation in the Innovation Award – especially with regard to start-ups?
It is mainly the publicity effect, the public you can reach. I think the trade fair is perfect for sales, simply the ideal event for establishing relationships and presenting your products and your business model. As a start-up it is not always easy to make a high impact when you enter a market. You have to innovate and provide something fresh and different that contributes real value for the people that are going to use the products; otherwise you become just another player in the market with little chance to make any impact, unless you have the cash to counter the lack of innovation.
Heetee has been very successful because it provides exactly that. Something new and innovative that adds value for parents, and is also very attractive and pleasing to behold. The combination of the two is generally unbeatable: you need a good trade fair at which you can promote your company and your products - but you of course also need such innovative products.. Both go hand-in-hand. For Heetee this award has has also been enormously important, a real milestone.
Your website is promising "world-class design for the sophisticated parent". How do you deliver on this promise?
The answer is very straightforward; we deliver it with innovation, quality and design. We have been talking about the nature of start-ups, and being a start-up allows you to be more flexible, open, while at the same time obliging you to think outside of the box and be constantly improving. I say this because I have been involved in the design and engineering of the pram; every individual part has been personally validated by me, even extending to the colour of the different screws, bolts and pins. I do not know if other established players also do that when creating new products. But we sure do. We have set up processes in which every single pram is checked down to the smallest detail before delivery to the customer. We do all this to ensure that we fulfil our vision, namely of becoming synonymous with exclusivity, perfection and innovation. From our perspective, this is the only way to keep this promise.
How does the power-generating pram function?
The concept is simple; you generate your own energy when pushing the pram. So you are in effect generating your own sustainable, clean and safe energy. With that energy you can heat the seat of the child, keep the feeding bottle warm, operate a tablet device to amuse the child when needed or charge any other mobile device.
The concept may seem simple, but there is of course a great deal of complex technology behind it. Perhaps I should also mention that you don’t need to make any extra effort to push the pram when wishing to generate energy with it. However, you can also switch to another mode, in which you move it without generating energy. You can still use all technical features in this mode. Also the system works intelligently and calculates the body temperature of the child to make sure it provides a comfort sensation for the child at all times.
When and via which distribution channels will the pram be available on the German market?
That is the million dollar question. First of all, the product will be available online the last week of February. Because we are currently ramping up production, anybody who wants to can place an order and reserve a pram. It will then come onto the market in May. Regarding shop space, we are in contact with several distributors and shops in Germany and all over Europe, and are still defining how and what is the best path to introduce Heetee in those markets via shops. What I can say is that I want to make sure that we can fulfil all customer service expectations before entering any new market. That is quite challenging, as a start-up doesn't have unlimited resources.
Are there any new innovative products under construction or in the pipeline?
There are many new projects in the pipeline. I want Heetee Baby to be at the forefront of safety and innovation. It is a shame because I am uncertain for 2018 as to whether we will be able to participate in the Innovation Award with one of our new innovations, as we have had to devote greater resources to production in order to meet delivery deadlines for the Mayfair. This said, we continue to put resources into our research and development with the aim of continuing to deliver the most innovative and safest products.Koelnmesse – Global Competence in Furniture, Interiors and Design: Koelnmesse is the world’s top trade fair organiser for the areas of furnishing, living and lifestyle. At the trade fair hub of Cologne, the leading international fair imm cologne as well as the trade fair formats of LivingKitchen, ORGATEC, spoga+gafa, interzum and Kind + Jugend rank among the internationally renowned and established industry meeting places. These fairs comprehensively represent the upholstered and case furniture segment, the kitchen industry, the office furniture sector and outdoor living as well as the innovations of the furniture supply industry. Over the last few years, Koelnmesse has specifically added international fairs in the most important fast-expanding markets to its portfolio. These include CIKB in Shanghai, interzum guangzhou in Guangzhou and Pueri Expo in Sao Paulo. With ambista, the online portal for the interiors business, Koelnmesse offers direct access to products, contacts, expertise and events relevant to the industry all year round.
Further information is available at: http://www.global-competence.net/interiors/
Further information about ambista: http://www.ambista.com/
The next events:
interzum guangzhou - Asia's leading trade fair for woodworking machinery, furniture production and interior design, Guangzhou 28.03. - 31.03.2018
spoga+gafa - The garden trade fair, Cologne, Cologne September 2018
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