By Scott Meacham
Copyright © 2014, The Oklahoma Publishing Company
After the Olympics in Sochi, we are doubly excited about having completed our second investment round in ICEdot, a Tulsa-based company that provides an emergency identification and notification service that can help save people’s lives.
ICEdot’s emergency profile system was spotted on the helmets of several Olympians during the Sochi games.
ICEdot’s latest product, the Crash Sensor, is a device that is about the size of a quarter and attaches to a sports helmet.
The product detects traumatic head impacts and relays geographic and medical information to emergency contacts via text message in case of emergency.
i2E has been working with ICEdot (originally named Docvia) over the past six or so years, since the business first started.
In the past year, the firm repositioned the company to focus on the athletic marketplace. It rebranded to ICEdot (“ICE” is an acronym for “in case of emergency”,) completed prototyping their sensor for active sports, forged strategic partnerships with helmet manufacturers and European distributors, started manufacturing, and launched its product in countries across the globe.
ICEdot is partners with Shred, owned by two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Ted Ligety, and POC. Both firms are leading international helmet companies in snow sports and professional cycling.
The ICEdot Crash Sensor received the ISPO Award, recognizing the most exceptional sporting goods for 2014-2015.
The product has been named to numerous ‘best of’ lists, including Skiing Magazine Sports Industries America Hot Gear List, Men’s Journal’s list of Best New Spring Gear of 2014, and the VeloNews Award for Tech Innovation.
We caught up with Chris Zenthoefer, ICEdot CEO, at the Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships, where he was signing all of the competing athletes on to the ICEdot system.
“Burton hosts a number of major events. These athletes travel all over the world and it is difficult to keep track of their current medications and injuries,” Zenthoefer said.
“We’re pushing into this action sport space in a big way and getting great support and adoption. We’ve met with the Vail ski patrol. It’s a great opportunity to provide a layer of safety in a much-needed space.”
ICEdot has a long-standing relationship with the Emergency Medical Services Authority, which aided in designing the system.
ICEdot provides free ICEdot memberships to all medics in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. It’s part of ICEdot’s strategy to work with the general public.
“We have reached the level where our system has been vetted and endorsed,” Zenthoefer said. “We’re proud to be an Oklahoma company and have had great partners in Tulsa and Oklahoma City working with us over these years.”
The ICEdot experience is a great example of the importance of a resilient and adaptable base technology, early adopters and strategic partnerships to a business plan.
But the biggest lesson is how fast things can happen for a company that is willing to shift its focus to solving a problem for a market that is willing to buy.
Scott Meacham is president and CEO of i2E Inc., a nonprofit corporation that mentors many of the state’s technology-based startup companies. i2E receives state appropriations from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology. Contact Meacham at [email protected].