What: Portable snap-on booster system for kids age 20 months to 6 years old
Who: Amir Levin of Kaboost Corp.
Where: New York City
When: Started in 2006
Startup Costs: $125,000
For Amir Levin, meals with his family were far from civilized--his young cousins always refused to sit in their booster seats. After witnessing countless dinners that were more like rowdy games of musical chairs, Levin, 33, was inspired to find a solution.
In early 2006, Levin enlisted a design firm to help him develop a prototype of a plastic booster that attaches to the bottom of a chair--raising the chair instead of the child. Once finished, he contacted Babies "R" Us and made an appointment with the buyer. After getting a positive reaction, he knew he was onto something. Levin then formed a focus group of mothers with at least one child between the age of 1 and 5. "That gave me another green light," he says. "They were just stunned and blown away."
Levin spent part of the year testing the product to assure its safety, and after going through a list of several names, he decided to call the product Kaboost, a combination of the words kaboom and boost. In April 2007, Levin launched the Kaboost portable chair booster at the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association Trade Show in Orlando, Florida. During the show, Levin signed with about 75 retailers. He started shipping the product in August.Today, the $39.95 Kaboost portable chair booster is available internationally and in more than 150 U.S. retailers, including large retail chains such as Babies "R" Us and The Right Start. Earlier this year, Kaboost started selling on target.com. "I've had parents tell me this has changed the way their mealtimes work," says Levin, who projects 2008 sales of more than $1 million. With two new products underway and only three employees, Levin often has his hands full--just not at the dinner table.