It’s 2018, and an ordinary late April day at the Bullis School in Potomac MD, but not really. On this day, five teams of nervous, budding entrepreneurs are rehearsing their pitches for the year-long capstone of their Entrepreneurism program: their very own “Shark Tank.” Sponsored by XML Financial Group, each student team has been given initial seed money for product development, in the hopes of winning the coveted “Shark Tank” investment to grow their business idea. XML then awards an additional $10,000 to the winning team, providing the funding needed to further grow their business ideas and products.
Brett Guterman, a high school senior at the time, was part of that year’s winning team. However, graduation happened a month later, and the team members lost interest, dispersed, and moved on to college, leaving the product concept and company behind. But not Brett. He believed they had a business idea that could become so much more. Having already applied for a patent for the company’s new product, he was not willing to let it go. Two years later, the patent had been granted, and Brett formed a new management team and became the sole owner of the company now known as OTGbaby. OTG, as it is known, is a company devoted to bringing innovative baby gear and bags to active families on the go. Its first product, originally conceptualized at Bullis, was a diaper bag backpack that transformed into a portable changing station for worry-free diaper changing. Although the design of the bag has transformed over the years due to market research, parent feedback and a lot of sweat and muscle, the concept is the same, only better. As Brett has discovered, the entrepreneurism path is not a straight line and requires lots of grit.
OTGbaby is hoping that grit, determination and hard work will pay off as it launches it patented innovative diaper bag backpack on Kickstarter with the campaign running 30 days. “We are so excited to bring this incredibly fashionable and functional diaper bag to moms, dads and grandparents everywhere. It’s a backpack diaper bag that actually unzips to become a portable changing station. There’s really nothing like it on the market, and it’s all about providing easy and worry-free solutions to parents,” said Guterman.
Brett credits his ability to get this far to the team of advisors, experts and team members who believed in him from the start. “OTGbaby owes so much to Brett Bernstein and XML Financial Group, as well as to David Sanders and our legal team at Foley Lardner. I have learned the value of surrounding oneself with the right people, and we are truly grateful and fortunate,” said Guterman.
XML Financial Group is proud to be a supporter of young entrepreneurs and a partner to the extraordinary programs at The Bullis School. The experience that the capstone programs and Shark Tank event provide are invaluable for students. “We just love when a winning team takes an idea and turns it into a reality,” said Bernstein. We wish Brett and OTGbaby much success in their Kickstarter launch and we welcome you to join us in supporting their journey.
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