ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Former teen innovator Alissa Chavez, known for inventing a “Hot Seat” to alert adults about babies left in cars, is at it again, this time with a new baby bottle for parents on the go.
Chavez’s new product, which stores formula and water in a single baby bottle for quick, easy feeding, won third place in November at Future Founders U.Pitch, an annual competition in Chicago for college students from around the nation. Chavez beat out 300 other applicants to reach the semi-finals, and then competed in live pitches to investors and entrepreneurs against 18 competitors from 14 states.
Future Founders President and CEO Scott Issen said Chavez’s new product, plus her previous track record of success, impressed judges.
“She identified a unique problem in the market that affects a large population and created a solution,” Issen said. “And she’s already an innovator who has traction and good plans to move forward.”
Chavez gained national notoriety a few years ago after inventing and patenting the Hot Seat while still a student at El Dorado High School. She launched her own company, Assila, to market it online following a wave of national media attention.
Now a 22-year-old University of New Mexico student, Chavez has pre-sold hundreds of Hot Seats built by contract manufacturers in Albuquerque.
“We’re getting ready to ship them now,” she said.
Her new product, EasyFlo, allows parents to stop lugging water bottles and baby formula around, which they mix for feeding while juggling a baby. Formula and water are pre-stored in the bottle, and with a twist of the lid, they flow together for immediate feeding.
“We have a prototype, and we expect to move to production this spring,” Chavez said.
She’s pre-selling EasyFlo online, and working to get inventory on Amazon and in select Target stores by year-end. She’s also raising a seed round of Angel funding, buoyed by the Future Founders competition.
Third place only paid $1,250, but Chavez gained good connections.
“I went there to get exposure to venture capitalists, angels and entrepreneurs,” Chavez said. “Some promising conversations have come from it.”