Boogaloo Beds wins Esprit Venture Challenge

BOULDER — Boogaloo Beds, a medical-device company that seeks to address sleep issues for children with autism, took top prize at the Esprit Venture Challenge Thursday, securing the $10,000 cash award.

Boogaloo competed against Rogo Fire, which is developing an advanced satellite-communications system designed to enable wildland firefighters to communicate in remote areas lacking in cell service, and with ShineOn, makers of a dual-beam bicycle light that makes bike riders more visible.

The three companies pitched the audience at the Boulder Chamber’s Esprit event at the Embassy Suites in Boulder. After each pitch, presenters were queried by a panel of judges that included Sharon Matusik, dean of the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder; Asa McKee, co-founder and CEO of Khala & Co.; and Matt Zwiebel, director of Pledge 1% Colorado.

Audience members then selected the winner via text voting.

Boogaloo’s product addresses a key issue for children with autism: sleep deprivation.

“Many people with autism are unable to process their sensory environment,” Boogaloo founder and CEO Caleb Polley told the audience. “Sleep is constantly disrupted by stimuli from siblings, neighbors or household activities.”

He said that the current solutions include drugs that can have terrible side effects, crude products made by parents or professional products that “are essentially glorified cages with zero technology or sensory features,” he said.

“We’re taking a different approach,” he noted. “We’re building a smart bed that enables a person to completely control their sensory environment. The canopy blocks outside stimuli, creating a cozy, safe space.”

Boogaloo Beds also provide soothing sensory inputs, such as light, sound, vibrations, weighted blankets, aromatherapy, heavy padding and cameras with motion sensors so that parents can remotely monitor their child’s sleep.

Boogaloo thus far has developed more than 20 prototypes and has feedback from more than 1,000 people, including families with autism, therapists and autism experts.

The company has raised $100,000 from angel investors and recently became registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, enabling it to launch the product, which is covered by insurance at $10,000 apiece.

Polley said Boogaloo also is exploring other uses for the technology, including helping people with dementia, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, stroke and other neurological conditions.

BOULDER — Boogaloo Beds, a medical-device company that seeks to address sleep issues for children with autism, took top prize at the Esprit Venture Challenge Thursday, securing the $10,000 cash award.

Boogaloo competed against Rogo Fire, which is developing an advanced satellite-communications system designed to enable wildland firefighters to communicate in remote areas lacking in cell service, and with ShineOn, makers of a dual-beam bicycle light that makes bike riders more visible.

The three companies pitched the audience at the Boulder Chamber’s Esprit event at the Embassy Suites in Boulder. After each pitch, presenters were queried by a panel of judges that included Sharon Matusik, dean of the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder; Asa McKee, co-founder and CEO of Khala & Co.; and Matt Zwiebel, director of Pledge 1% Colorado.

Audience members then selected the winner via text voting.

Boogaloo’s product addresses a key issue for children with autism: sleep deprivation.

“Many people with autism are unable to process their sensory environment,” Boogaloo founder and CEO Caleb Polley told the audience. “Sleep is constantly disrupted by stimuli from siblings, neighbors or household activities.”

He said that the current solutions include drugs that can have terrible side effects, crude products made by parents or professional products that “are essentially glorified cages with zero technology or sensory features,” he said.

“We’re taking a different approach,” he noted. “We’re building a smart bed that enables a person to completely control their sensory environment. The canopy blocks outside stimuli, creating a cozy, safe space.”

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