Bitzy Baby™ was co-founded by Seabren Reeves, chief operations officer and student in USM’s MBA program, and his wife Whitney Reeves, chief marketing and product development officer. Reeves said he and his wife came up with the idea for the company’s flagship product, the Bitzy Bumper™, shortly after their son began rolling in his crib. “The crib bumpers on the market all created their own problems. We knew that there could be a better solution, and we were compelled to invent it,” he says.
According to Reeves, winning the competition has enabled the company to fund three very critical projects that get their patent-pending product, the Bitzy Bumper™, directly to market. Currently, the company has partnered with iBec Creative, led by former Business Plan Competition finalist and USM alumna Becky Stockbridge-McKinnell, to develop and launch the Bitzy Baby™ website. “Our website will enable the purchase of our current and future product solutions, provide a forum for parents to connect and an education for those parents on safe sleeping,” says Reeves.
Now in its ninth year, the USM Student Business Plan Competition is sponsored by the USM School of Business’s Center for Entrepreneurship. For the competition, student teams develop their original ideas into solid business plans to vie for up to $10,000 in cash, $15,000 in consulting services and the chance to use the Maine Center for Business and Enterprise Development’s “incubator” as personal office space. Student teams from any Maine college or university are invited to participate. Nearly 20 teams participated in this year’s competition.
This year, the competition added to their prizes by creating three categories – the Scalable Business Track, the Small and Solid Business Track, and the Sustainable Business Track. In addition to a grand prize winner, one winning team was chosen from each category. The Small and Solid Business Track winner was White Noise Video Production, a video production company specializing in filming white-water rafting trips, and the Sustainable Business Track winner was Gourmet Butanol, a sustainable fuel company.
Valarie Lamont, director of USM’s Center for Entrepreneurship, says there are benefits to every student who submits a plan. She says the competition introduces students to entrepreneurship, fosters interdisciplinary teamwork and focuses on the fundamentals of small business planning and formation.
In the wake of the competition, the Bitzy Baby™ management team is utilizing their newly acquired resources in order to move forward in making their product solutions available to parents everywhere. “We remain focused on the operations of the company that will enable us to revolutionize and shift the paradigm of the infant’s sleeping environment,” says Reeves. For more information and to sign up for Bitzy Baby’s™ E-Newsletter, visit www.bitzybaby.com.