Entrepreneur builds low cost prototype at FabLab Houston

Posted on September 14, 2018

Patricia Slind is a native of Bolivia and the creator of the VINSS Bag – a personalized intelligent diaper bag. This bag is designed to help women and men who struggle with their everyday hand and diaper bags by adding today’s technology solutions to a high-end fashion product.

“I am a geologist and working mother of five,” Patrica said. “For many years I kept looking for a diaper bag that could adapt to my needs – A practical bag where I could carry my computer, diapers, baby bottles and even my makeup. I could not find anything in the market, so that is when I decided to create VINSS – the smart diaper bag.”

The bag includes everything from an internal lighting system and phone charger to a bottle warmer.

In order to grow her business, Patricia realized she needed two things – capital and guidance. She received both as a result of winning second place in the Lánzate! Launch category. She won a cash prize, mentoring hours, and a scholarship to the Entrepreneur Academy Grow class.
Winners.jpg
While attending the Academy class, our team helped her work on her proof of concept. We also connected her to industry founders with access to specific focus group and patent attorneys and industry experts who could potentially form part of VINSS’s advisory board.

One VINSS’s biggest challenges was finding a company to build the product prototype.

“When I started reaching out to people who could help me with the prototype, I was shocked by what I was told the price would be,” Patricia said. “I was not ready to invest $18,000 to $20,000 and I even approached other Fab Labs and maker spaces in Houston and they still charged more than $10,000. The challenge of what to do next was really putting a stop to my idea. I was becoming discouraged about how I could move forward.”

Staff connected her to BakerRipley’s Fab Lab where she received help from Brent Richardson, the Fab Lab Developer. With very little investment, she developed a first draft of her prototype in three weeks.

“I was able to use the money I won in the pitch competition to buy the supplies needed to test and develop the prototype for my bag,” Patricia said. “BakerRipley has really impacted my journey as a business owner and truly I’m just getting started.”