Over 150 breast pump users, designers, educators, engineers, health care professionals and lactation specialists gathered at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, MA this past weekend for MIT’s two-day “Make The Breast Pump Not Suck Hackathon.” It was a weekend of collaborating and deliberating on how to produce a better breast pump.
There were a total of ten proposals for better breast pumps. Third prize went to the “Pump IO” team who garnered $1,000 from Naia Health. “Helping Hands” was awarded $2,000 for second prize from Medela.
The first prize winners–the best of the breast–of the better breast pump competition were selected by a panel of judges consisting of the event’s “inspirational speakers.” The winning team, known as “Team Batman”, created the “Mighty Mom” design and scored a first prize award of $3,000 from Vecna Technologies, Inc. The “Mighty Mom” breast pump is a wearable, discrete utility belt (a la Batman) breast pump because “every mom is superhero.”
Erin Freeburger, one of the “Team Batman” members told the press: “The breast pump sucks but we all love our babies more. So there seemed to be an obvious need to fix this. And, I think another thing was bringing people’s voices to the fore front and realizing that everyone has the same three to five key issues with [the breast pump].”
Team member Don Blair added: “I guess the fantasy going forward would be that we can incorporate a lot of other neat ideas . . . into the design discussion and build something that takes all of the best ideas.”
Pejman Mar Ventures will sponsor two of the Team Batman members who will travel to Silicon Valley and pitch their product idea to potential investors. Freeburger concluded: “This is what we did in two days. If we push it out there, people give their feedback and people respond, this could really change something.”
Team Batman: Building Better Breast Pumps