Ones to Watch: TeddyCare looks to bring ‘Eddy’ the food tester toy bear to market

Business, Ones to Watch | Fri 6 Sep | Author – Business & Finance
Gearoid Cronin Aileen McCabe Eddy Edel Browne Thomas Callaghan
Gearoid Cronin Aileen McCabe Eddy Edel Browne Thomas Callaghan

In our Ones to Watch section, we highlight some of the top up and coming businesses in Ireland. This week we feature TeddyCare.

What is it?

Introducing ‘Eddy the Teddy’. Eddy is a fun, child-friendly food tester encased in a teddy bear.

Eddy has the ability to check food for children who are coeliac to see if it is safe for them to eat. The child puts a sample of food into a small capsule and ‘feeds’ it through Eddy’s mouth. Within moments, Eddie’s ears light up either green or red, to signify if the food is safe to eat.

By having the tester inside a teddy bear, we can replicate that inseparable bond that kids have with soft toys. By doing this we can create a positive relationship between the child, their intolerance and their food.

Eddy the Teddy

Eddy the Teddy

Who’s behind it?

Edel Browne…

is a graduate of the BSc(Hons) Biotechnology programme and is currently pursuing an MSc in Technology Innovation as an EY Women in Entrepreneurship Scholar, both at NUI Galway. She was the youngest honouree on the Forbes 30 under 30 Science and Healthcare list for Europe in 2019.

Edel’s interest in health innovation has led to the development of her own startup, at aged 15. Edel brings these learnings – and more – into the development of TeddyCare for the improvement of access to assistive technologies.

Thomas Callaghan…

is product design student currently studying at Technological University of Dublin, under a sports scholarship. He is a keen innovator and plays a vital role in the team’s prototyping and development.

With a previous degree in graphic design and working in the promotional industry, Thomas leads the marketing campaign focusing on creating the exposure and awareness for the brand and product across various platforms.

Aileen McCabe…

is a recent graduate of the BE electronic engineering programme at UCD where she received the UCD stage 4 scholarship for obtaining the highest grades in the year group.

She brings her previous experience to the TeddyCare team including her roles as a program manager at Microsoft, technology consultant with PwC and public speaker who previously represented Ireland at Harvard University (HNMUN). Last year, she was chosen as one of 110 of the top young female leaders across EMEA by McKinsey.

Gearoid Cronin…

is also a product design student at the Technological University of Dublin. Having begun his career as a freelance graphic designer, eventually transitioning to industrial design, he has extensive experience in the field.

Gearoid is currently finishing up an internship at Workhuman – developing the world’s fastest growing social recognition platform with customers including P&G, LinkedIn, and JetBlue. At TeddyCare, Gearoid focuses on customer and user interaction, ensuring that both parents and children have the best possible experience.

How is it funded?

TeddyCare recently completed Accenture’s Leaders of Tomorrow program. The program was an entrepreneurial accelerator where likeminded individuals with keen interests in innovation and entrepreneurship came together to form functional businesses within three months. Since May, Accenture have supplied some funding to TeddyCare, however, the team has also invested significantly themselves.

Despite the conclusion of the program, Accenture’s Leaders of Tomorrow team remain enormously helpful while TeddyCare begins increasing investment in the areas of R&D, marketing, and user testing. The team will soon begin to seek external investment to complete tooling and manufacturing with an estimated release date of January 2021.

Future plans?

Further research and development of the technology involved with testing food for allergens will continue to take place. TeddyCare sees themselves branching out from not just gluten testers but being able to provide fun testers for a range of allergies, along with a range of different teddy’s and characters to choose from.

We want to be able to provide kids with a range of teddies, characters and toys to choose from”

To ensure that we adhere to the highest of standards, we aim to be participating in trials early next year alongside acquiring the necessary certification for the product.