As any new parent will attest; it’s once the sleep deprivation kicks in, the adrenaline wears off, and you’ve left the calm, supportive environment of the hospital that the anxiety begins to creep in. And what’s more stressful for first-time parents than a crying baby who can’t yet say what’s wrong?
Shem Richards knows all about it. “You’re running around trying to figure out: why is my baby crying? Are they hot, cold, hungry, tired?” he says, chuckling.
A medical device engineer by trade, his introduction to fatherhood provided the inspiration for an ingenious idea which came to life in the form of Goldilocks Suit.
A new system that’s disrupting the baby monitoring space, Goldilocks Suit is a baby singlet constructed with seamlessly-integrated sensors that work to detect a baby’s core and skin temperature, breathing, feeding and sleeping patterns.
“All of that information is then sent to your phone via an easy-to-use app,” explains Shem. “It then passes through our algorithms to build a personalised profile of what’s considered ‘normal’ for your baby.”
Officially launched in 2019, Goldilocks Suit saw its first sales coming through in January 2020, following a few years of hard work prototyping, partaking in various business accelerators, fundraising — including a $100,000 Crowdfunding campaign — and a 20-baby pilot study mid-last year.
Despite only starting selling with Amazon Australia earlier this year, Shem’s unique product saw the business selected as one of five Aussie startups for Amazon’s 2021 Launchpad Innovation Grants — a $200,000 package designed to nurture, support and encourage innovative SMBs nationwide.
“We’re so excited to be part of the program,” enthuses Shem. “And it’s perfect timing. With our next release of the Goldilocks Suit just around the corner, we really plan to harness the power of Amazon Launchpad to broaden our reach to customers.
Amazon Launchpad is Amazon’s program to help startups and entrepreneurs grow their business online. It helps with inventory management, order fulfilment, customer service, and marketing support, allowing brands to focus their efforts on the innovation that results in more unique products.
“Another way I really see the grant taking us to that next level is in the connections it offers,” he says, referring to the Amazon experts and industry mentors. “Some quality advice on how to run a successful e-commerce business will really set us up for success.
“My skills are as an engineer, not selling direct to consumers! So, it’s all about getting the right people around us to complement our skills.”
Looking forward, he says international expansion is on the horizon and has his eyes firmly set on taking the business global within two years. Shem’s relationship with Amazon Australia will be crucial in making this happen.
“Teaming up with an organisation like Amazon, which is in Australia, but has global legs, is an amazing opportunity for us to scale our business and our product to really make an impact on the world stage,” he explains. “So many people use Amazon to shop online now, and with that comes trust, which is an integral part of connecting to our ideal customers.”
His advice for other Australian start-ups working hard at their ideas is to “get out there.”
“Talk about what you’re doing wherever you go,” he advises. “Because you just never know where those conversations might lead. After all, that’s exactly how we stumbled across Amazon Launchpad. And just look how beneficial that turned out for us!”
Check out Goldilocks and other Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grant Winners - here