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Is a Folding Carseat the Future of Child Safety?

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If you have children and want to make sure they're safe in the car without dealing with an outsized hassle, this story may very well be the one you should read.

Carseats are infamously bulky objects, and frequently take a lot of work to move in and out of the car. More to the point, they can frequently be uncomfortable, and break easily. But one Boston entrepreneur wants to change all that with...a folding carseat.

CBS Boston reports:

Years ago, and far from Boston, Reagan James and his wife would trek back and forth with their three children from their home in Norway to visit James’ native New Zealand. Over time, lugging bulky conventional car seats half-way across the world became a major headache.[...]

His dad, an engineer, had a solution: design a lightweight, foldable child car seat. But it wasn’t until years later, shortly after Niklas James arrived in Boston to attend Harvard Business School that the idea of marketing the design became a reality.

“I saw the terrific entrepreneurship community that is in the city, and particularly at HBS,” Niklas James told CBS Boston. “I saw the opportunity to push this product.”

The convenient, safety-first, lightweight, foldable design for James’ front-facing child seat has the potential to revolutionize the car seat industry in the U.S.

But getting there will require James’ Boston-based start-up, Te Tamato clear a few significant hurdles. That’s where MassChallengecomes in. The competition has picked Te Tama and its “Safeboard” car seat design as one of 125 finalists in this year’s competition. The privately-funded contest awards promising entrepreneurs with world-class mentorship, free office space, access to funding, media and more. Finalists participate in a three-month accelerator program that begins in late June. At the end, 10 to 20 startups are chosen to split $1 million in cash awards.

Already, Te Tama has won a $200,000 grand prize in a national Norwegian contest and gained significant interest from private investors.

So will this folding chair-esque concept for car seats work? The designers say they've worked with car safety engineers to ensure it does, and if that turns out to be accurate, it will surely be a clever contraption.

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