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Students Place in Statewide Challenge for Water Safety Shirt Business Pitch

April 25, 2022

Mechanical engineering students Jacob Stubbers and Katelyn Kinson took second runner up in the technology products track of the 2022 Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge held in April.

Their interdisciplinary team has developed a product and business plan for SafeFlate, a sleek water safety shirt for infants and children. Through the use of selected sensors, SafeFlate detects when children show distress in the water and automatically inflates hidden inflatables that will bring them to the surface while sending a signal to parents and caregivers via an app.

On average, 11 children die from drowning each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and it is the second leading cause of death in children ages one through 14.

“We believe that we have design that will save lives and give parents peace of mind,” Stubbers said.

Twenty-four finalist teams participated in the statewide competition hosted by Boise State University. Teams have four minutes to pitch unique solutions and business plans to judges comprised of top business owners and leaders across the state of Idaho. Winning teams earn cash prizes and legal and accounting services to launch their business venture.

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at


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