20 Aug 2014

Inspiration through experience

Kare Kot is a cot-bed suitable for young children from birth to at least aged five. It has two cot mattress positions - from birth to six months and six months upwards; converting from a crib, to a cot and then to a toddler bed.

The design of Kare Kot has safety at its heart; the predominant features focus on the removal of bars which can cause entrapment, and solid surfaces which can lead to bumps and bruises.

The unique drop mechanism, which is based on a rotational hinge rather than a vertical drop side, further reduces the capacity for children to get themselves, or their clothes, caught in the traditional drop-sided latch mechanism.Finally, the child is visible at all times through the breathable mesh sides and the fabric element is quickly and easily removed for washing.

Inspiration through experience

Katharine’s inspiration for Kare Kot came through her own experiences as a mother. She watched her daughter grow from a baby into a very mobile and active toddler. Her daughter’s increased mobility meant, even when she was placed in her traditional ‘barred’ cot to sleep, Katharine would often find her with legs and arms through the cot bars.

This presented a potential hazard for spiral fractures or, less serious but still painful, occasional bruising as she had either stood, or sat up, and tumbled onto solid cot bars. Katharine concluded that there had to be a better alternative to the rigid and unyielding traditional cot structure. 

The Business & IP Centre provided initial financial support to Kare Kot for market research via its partner, Newcastle Science City. Additional grant aid was then also secured to support prototype design from Science City.

Kare Kot represents a significant step-change in cot design and, at the same time, can be considered a ‘disruptive technology’ in a well-established market. For Katharine, it was obvious that the product needed to be protected so, in May 2012 she filed a patent protection and then a PCT application in May 2013.

The naming and branding of Kare Kot is trademarked and it is Community Design registered which has allowed Katharine to show her designs to prospective investors and to the public more generally. Having this protection has also enabled her to participate in innovative products awards which led to Kare Kot being placed second in the national ‘Rattles to Riches’ competition at the 2013 Baby Show at Olympia, London.

Katharine considers herself “the last person on earth to invent something; a truly unlikely entrepreneur!” She says:

“I was driven to create a solution to the problem my daughter faced with using traditional barred cots.  If you create something you believe in, that addresses a real problem and you are determined to make it work, go for it!

However, you must protect your idea. Whilst it can be costly it will be worth it in the end when you are able to sell and license your product to others, safe in the knowledge that no-one can (at least legally!) replicate it.”

www.karekot.com
Twitter: @Kare_Kot

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