Eddy started working on a prototype of a child protector device when he was 15 years old. He invested a lot of time, effort, and money into it until he built a working model. The model was a bit large but Eddy was confident he could make any necessary changes in the future.
Nevertheless, Eddy wasn’t even 18 years old when he started university. He was taking engineering and was the youngest student in his class. He met Dylan at university and told him about his dream to invent a low-cost device that would prevent children from being forgotten in cars by adults.
Dylan was also studying engineering. Unlike Eddy, he came from a wealthy family. When he heard Eddy’s idea he was quite enthusiastic about it. He was sure he could raise money from his family and friends to fund the project. Therefore, he suggested the two of them become partners. He would raise the money they needed to get started while Eddy would work on developing the device.
Dylan made an appointment for them to speak with his father Charles who was a very well-known and successful businessman. He was certain that as soon as his father meets Eddy and learns about the child protector device, he would support the project without hesitation. But unfortunately, this wasn’t how things worked out.
Charles said there are several devices already on the market to prevent adults from leaving children behind in locked cars. He added that he didn’t see anything new in their product, plus he thought it was too bulky. He also didn’t see how it could be adjusted to make it more compact.
Eddy tried to convince him that the device would be able to detect a child breathing in a car. He said there wasn’t anything on the market today that could accomplish this. In addition, the cost of his device would be relatively low which meant that everyone would be able to afford one. Charles was tough on him and didn’t want to listen to what Eddy had to say. He scolded his son that he knew better than to bother him with ideas or products that had no potential for success.
Eddy felt humiliated after the meeting and Dylan felt embarrassed at how his father treated his friend. Dylan told Eddy his father had no right to behave this way. He said he was arrogant and stupid. He always thought his father had the ability to recognize talent and a good business opportunity but obviously, he was wrong about him.
Despite their disappointment, the two young men didn’t have any intention of giving up on their great idea. Even after Dylan was rebuffed by everyone he asked to invest in their project, they continued approaching other potential investors. At some point, Eddy decided to consult with his favorite professor at the university. The professor really valued and supported his students and was impressed by Eddy’s perseverance.
He suggested Eddy work on the device a little more and make it smaller. Eddy didn’t think he had enough money to continue with his work so he contacted his friend Dylan and told him what the professor suggested. Dylan said he had some money saved which he was willing to invest in their prototype in order to improve it.
Using the funds he received from Dylan, Eddy was able to improve the model and make it more compact. Once this was completed, Eddy met with his professor again. The professor was pleased with the improvements and referred them to a group of investors whom he thought they had an excellent chance of raising the additional funding they required.
The young men went to meet the group of investors and brought with them a child protector prototype which they demonstrated for them. It wasn’t easy convincing them at first, as the investors felt their product would be unable to successfully break into the market.
They told Eddy and Dylan there already were several products for sale in the market and they didn’t see how they could differentiate their product from the others. But in the end, they decided to invest in the project and agreed to give them $2 million to begin production. However, the investment came with a condition. They wanted 40% ownership. But the boys managed to talk them down to 35%.
Eddy worked on the device for several months until he was pleased with the results. He finished working on it just before Christmas which was a great time to bring it to the market. Eddy and Dylan agreed that Dylan would do the sales and marketing as he had experience in the field from working with his father since he was a teenager.
Dylan went to big box stores like Costco, Walmart, Home Depot, etc, which he thought could be potential customers. But nothing came of his efforts. The heads of the purchasing departments agreed to meet with him just because of his father’s reputation. They gave him a few minutes of their time and then politely explained to him that they weren’t interested in the device at the present time……….