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Through the roof with the pram – Interview with Samuel García Gil from the Heetee Baby Company

At Kind + Jugend 2017, the British pram manufacturer Heetee Baby Company presented the prototype of its Heetee Power System: an innovative high-tech children’s buggy that uses the energy generated from pushing to heat the buggy, warm up a bottle or charge a smartphone. With this invention, the British startup was the trade fair highlight from the word go, and received the Kids Innovation Award in the “World of Moving Kids” category. What does this success mean for Heetee? And what potential does the trade fair offer other young companies? We spoke with managing director Samuel García Gil on this topic.

What inspired you to make your power-generating pram?
I am the type of person who sees how things work everywhere I go, and straight away think how that product or service would improve. Maybe it is my engineering background but that just comes naturally to me.
Having to wake up very early, every day on my way to work I found it extremely unpleasant the first 15 minutes inside the car until the heating started to make a nicer ambient inside.
I had a friend which at times 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 comfort sensation.
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. Since that moment I started to think about the idea of incorporating heated seats in a pram to provide maximum comfort for babies. Now I feel so proud that Heetee incorporates not only that but many other tech features and is the most innovative pram in the market to date and also the safest.

Your presentation at Kids Innovation Award paid off! During the trade show, your pram design was on everyone’s lips and has been awarded with the Kids Innovation Award. What does this distinction mean to you and your company?
It absolutely paid off. And to have won the award is the icing on the cake really. We don’t have to forget that Kind + Jugend is the most important baby fair worldwide, and although I know the Mayfair is a fantastic product and we have put so much effort not only in design and engineering to make it attractive, useful and user friendly, but also in testing to make it reliable, safe and durable, it is such a honour that an institution like K+J also recognises the greatness of the product.
When Heetee was announced as the winner of the award it meant a lot, and I think that for a start-up to have won such award over the other very well stablish companies sends a clear message to everybody, and it shows how a well-motivated team of engineers with fresh ideas and passion 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?
Mainly the exposure, I think the fair is the perfect scene to trade, make relationships, and give exposure to your products and business.
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 adds real value to the people that is going to use the products; otherwise you become just another player in the market with little chances to make any impact unless you have the cash to counter the lack of innovation.
Heetee has been very successful just because it provides exactly that. Something new and innovative that adds value to parents, and also is very attractive and good looking.
So in the case of start-ups, I believe the combination of the two is essential to maximise the success. You need a good trade fair to promote your business and products but also need that type of innovative products. Both go hand to hand, and for Heetee this has been a great advantage and also an important milestone having won the award.

Your website is promising „world-class design for the sophisticated parent“. How do you deliver on this promise?
The answer is very straight forward; 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, and obliges you to think out of the box and be constantly improving. I say this because I have been on top of the design and engineering and every single piece in the pram has been personally validated by me, to the extreme of even the colour of the different screws and studs. I do not know if other established players do that when creating new products, but we do it. We also have facilities prepared to 100% check and test every single pram before delivering to the customer, and we do all this to ensure that we fulfil our vision of becoming the reference for exclusivity, perfection and innovation, and that is the only route to deliver on that promise.

How does the power-generating pram function?
The concept is simple; you generate your own energy when pushing the pram. So you effectively are generating your own sustainable energy that is clean and safe. With that energy you can heat the seat of the child, keep the feeding bottle warm, plug a tablet device so the child can be amused any time that is needed or charge any mobile device on the go.
The concept may seem simple, but actually the system is more complex and technological than that. You don’t need to make any extra effort to push the pram, although you have an option to ride the pram as a normal pram without generating any energy but still being able to use all the technology features. 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. Anybody who wants can place an order and reserve one for when it arrives to the market in May as currently we are ramping up production.
Regarding shop space, we are in contact with several distributors and shops in Germany and all over Europe and we are still defining how and what is the best path to introduce Heetee in those markets via the shops.
What I can say is that before entering any new market I want to make sure that we can fulfil all customer service expectations that people deserve. That is quite challenging as being a start-up resources aren’t unlimited.

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 this year 2018 I am uncertain 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 into production in order to meet delivery deadlines for the Mayfair.
This said, we continue to put resources into our research and development to keep delivering the most innovative and safest products.

One response to “Through the roof with the pram – Interview with Samuel García Gil from the Heetee Baby Company”

  1. […] Baby Company will no doubt find numerous fans among this target group. Because the comfortable Winner of the Kind + Jugend Innovation Award 2017 in the category “World of Moving Kids” uses the energy generated by pushing it for the integrated heated seat. Alternatively, it can be […]

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