warmilu

November is Prematurity Awareness Month

November marks the beginning of Prematurity Month.  In the United States, 1 in 8 babies are born premature.  Worldwide, the number is 1 in 10.  This totals to 15 million babies born too soon each year.

These infants may have apnea, respiratory distress syndrome (SDR), jaundice, anemia, infections, and many more complications in the short term.  In the long term, the child may face autism, cerebral palsy, lung problems, and hearing and vision loss.  Some premature births can be prevented.

Warmilu encourages everyone to learn more about premature infants and premature birth.  More information on why babies are born premature and how premature birth can be prevented can be found here.  Please also see information on the Prematurity Campaign in the U.S. and in Europe.  For premature infants, every minute counts.  The only way to decrease premature birth is to spread information about it.

Gearing up for a new academic year

Happy Labor Day!  For some it is a day off of work, but for many involved with Warmilu, Labor Day is a sign of the return to the academic world.  Three of the Warmilu co-founders are entering graduate school this fall and our biomedical engineering intern and Head of Business Operations will continue their undergraduate education.  But what does this mean for Warmilu?

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Our Story

I will start off by taking us back a couple months, and will make an honest effort to detail the happenings of Warmilu since we first started off as M-Wrap. In September, the five cofounders, Alex Chen, Grace Hsia, Rachel Rademacher, Heather Wilsher, and myself, took a senior design course where our professor Max Shtein turn our worlds up side down. Literally. Before we knew it we had all caught the “entrepreneurship fever” and were well on our way to creating a business out of our class project where we created a warming blanket for infants. 

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Warmilu Stepping Forward

The Warmilu team spent Sunday working together to put the company and our overall goal first. Warmilu took some time away from market strategies and manufacturing ideas to redefine our roles and duties. For a startup, getting the roles and duties defined can be an important step. In doing this, we have eliminated down time that can stem from too many people leading the projects. Now Warmilu can move even quicker to get our products to market in the most efficient way possible.  We’re getting closer to our goal of spreading the warmth and saving lives!

Warmilu at Accelerate Michigan November 14!

Hey Warmilu friends, are you in the Detroit area?  If you are, come check out Warmilu as CEO Grace Hsia competes in a pitch competition for Accelerate Michigan.  The competition is located at:

Westin Book Cadillac
1114 Washington Boulevard, Detroit, MI 48226

Warmilu will be pitching some time between 11:15 a.m and 12:45 p.m on Wednesday, November 14.  We would love to see you!

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Happy new year! 2012 is the time to start the year off right. Warmilu (formerly M-Wrap) is featured in President Mary Sue Coleman’s New Year video around the 1:10 mark.

Watch on warmilu.tumblr.com

Warmilu (formerly M-Wrap) was recently featured on the local Channel 7 News during their participation in SPARK Entrepreneur Boot Camp.  Check out the article and video!

So it begins!

My life has been full of changes. When I started my undergraduate engineering program at the University of Michigan, I was a writer who decided to become a materials science engineer so I could live off of more than just dreams and cheerios.

Seniors year, my life underwent a serious “pivot.” What is a pivot? Welp, according to Google, a pivot describes “a significant change to your business model or product offering based on customer or market feedback." 

Google’s great. Keep those definitions coming but my pivot went something like this: 

140 infants die every hour worldwide from hypothermia. My professor, Max Shtein, dared my materials science engineering senior design class to apply our engineering skills set to positively impact real people. After checking out the existing solutions to hypothermia treatment and prevention, my team and I found current solutions inadequate. These solutions could not address issues in safety, effective heat distribution, and affordability in low-resource settings where 90% of these deaths occur. 

The team looked at Max and thought, "Challenge accepted” and got together to create a nonelectric, reusable, and instant heat technology. To be super safe, we’ve implemented a thermal fuse to prevent the heat source from ever going above doctor recommended temperatures.

Last semester, the team organized into Warmilu, a company that is spreading the warmth to reduce hypothermia-related infant deaths in low resource settings. 

In exactly three days, my cofounder Shwetha is taking this technology over to India to continue our customer discovery in a low-resource setting. 

And…that’s where I come in. 

While Shwetha reports on the needs and pains in India, I am going to be working on getting our first product to the market here in the US. Our line of US products will be made specifically for loving, super-awesome people like you to take home and love. It’s my job to make sure that we get those online and into places like Elephant Ears or Babies “R” Us. 

So, I’m making sure to blog about my experiences, but it’s not going to be limited to Warmilu. I’m passionate about Warmilu, running, biking, humanitarian causes, TechArb, and fellow startups. Oh, and if I start getting better at Spider Solitaire, you best believe I’m going to talk about that. 

With cheer and much appreciation,

Grace Hsia

Ps. Enjoy the video! The “Friends Pivot Video” was used by my mentors & professors to describe what it feels like to deal with pivots in entrepreneurship.