In a few hours, the two businessmen Philippe Rouvier and Thibaut Choulet will be in prime time on channel M6 in the program “Who wants to be my partner? “. Co-founders of Floatee, they rely on this program to accelerate the number of sales. During this, project leaders present their invention, idea or service to a jury of investors and seek advice and, ideally, funding to develop it.
In his case, the Toulouse startup Floatee has imagined an eponymous anti-drowning T-shirt, which turns into a life jacket once submerged in water, in case of a fall or unsupervised swimming. Intended for children aged between 18 months and 6 years, Floatee is intended to be used from morning to night during water activities (swimming pool, lake, etc.) without causing the slightest discomfort.
In France, drownings are the firstis the cause ofaccidents of everyday life in children. According to Public Health France, between June 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021, 22% of accidental drownings affected children under 6 years of age, of which 6% resulted in death. Each summer, approximately 500 children under the age of 6 drown.
Today measures such as barriers, covers or even alarms are applied to protect theacces for swimming pools and thus prevent these accidents. Children are toowho Parmbands, vests or buoys in the water. However, once on dry land, they remove them for the sake of comfort. However, most accidents happen when the child should not enter the water.
“In the summer of 2021, IparticipatedI had a drowning that marked me. With my friend and partner we decided thencidAct. Generally, when children are in the water, they arewho Pes and parents are in proximityis and very vigilant. Out of the water, vigilance decreases a little, the children take off the vests and armbands that bother them and all it takes is a short period of inattention and a fall for everything to change. »says Philippe Rouvier, co-founder floating in dDecember 2021 with Thibaut Choulet.
A unique product on the market
In fact, the two engineers thus developed an innovative system that transforms, in three seconds, what appears to be a simple t-shirt into a life jacket, as soon as it is immersed in water. I’innovation patented and in accordance with European standards is composed ofa shirt inside which is placed an inflatable vest, a lung, the thickness of two sheets of paper, a detector that, in contact with water, triggers a trigger that opens a CO2 cartridge and inflates the vest.
The simple T-shirt turns into a life jacket as soon as it is submerged in water. (Credits: Floatee)
“Once in the water, the mechanism is activated automatically and brings the child to the surface. Your airways are held above water. It also allows you to flip it over on its back in less than five seconds, regardless of its position in the water, even unconscious. When the lung is inflated, the child can move through the water to reach the pool ladder, for example. The heart of the technology, the UML automatic release system, is already widely used in the market, mainly in life jackets for nautical professionals. We only ask the manufacturer to miniaturize it to adapt it to our solution »explains the CEO of the company.
After a shot, the system is fully reusable. All that is needed is to replace the gas cap and the soluble detector. The company from Toulouse convsu One-size-fits-all inflatable lung piece that can be maintained as the child grows, from 18 months to 6 years. Only the T-shirt needs to be changed when the child grows up.
In addition to protecting against drowning, Floatee is a T-shirt made of anti-UV fabric, with UPF 50+ certification. With parts that are separable from each other, the t-shirt is machine washable and “stands up to the wear and tear of a child’s life with high-performance yarns and fabrics”.
Assembled in Occitania
SwindlervsAssembled in Occitania, the complete anti-drowning t-shirt is sold in the company’s online store at a price of 149 euros. When the child grows up, it will cost 59 euros for a new anti-UV t-shirt.
“We received the T-shirts in ten different pieces that we assembled on our premises. The fabrics and the inflatable lung are manufactured by French companies. The rest, the different elements of the trigger come from Slovakia and Austria, because there is no manufacturer of these products in France”, completes the businessman.
A crowdfunding campaign on the Ulule platform allowed the young offspring to pre-sell 100 pieces between November 15th and December 21st. Today, Floatee has sold more than 200 anti-drowning devices.
The startup counts on participation in the program “Who wants to be my partner?” on the M6 channel to develop (Credits: Floatee).
Sell several thousand products in 2023
In the near future, the young company intends to export its innovation in Europe to countries that share borders with France, namely Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy and Spain. “We are going to translate our website so that, starting next summer, the inhabitants of these countries can easily navigate and buy our product”predicts the young businessman.
Floatee intends to form partnerships that allow it to physically distribute its unique concept ofs 2024. The companysummer targets supermarkets specializing in outdoor activities, sports and early childhood, as well as pool specialists.
“This year, we want to state that theWe believeis a new product that until now was the missing link in protecting children against drowning and in promoting it. we got along the possibilityit is up to our suppliers to have the flexibility to produce several thousand products and therefore sales in 2023. »
Floatee funds your ddevelopment thanks to the founders’ own funds, loans of honor and competitions. It wants to carry out a first round of funding in late 2023, primarily to fund the next step internationally and avoid being overtaken.
However, the company is in the process of strengthening its workforce. After an initial recruitment of a communication manager, she is in the process of hiring an assembly technician and should focus on marketing/sales parts, product development and supplier management in the coming months. In all, the startup would have seven employees fromuntil the end of 2023.