kidRunner has selected Bend-based Composite Approach to bring the world’s first high performance, all-terrain, lightweight, pull-style kid jogger to market in 2015. The two Central Oregon businesses will collaborate on solution engineering to optimize the performance of the current kidRunner prototype as well as execution of initial scale production and manufacturing.
“Composite Approach won our business based on three key factors – their collaborative, creative culture, their composite manufacturing expertise and their commitment to partnership,” said Will Warne, kidRunner partner. “We appreciated their mind-set and their understanding of what it takes to truly innovate in a stale product space like kid joggers.”
“Our team is extremely excited to partner with kidRunner and their incredibly unique and innovative kid jogger,” said Brian Harris, owner of Composite Approach. “With our history in composites and their forward thinking, kidRunner is going to push the envelope and set a new standard for the entire kid jogger industry.”
After kidRunner placed in the top five for Concept Stage companies at the Bend Venture Conference (BVC) in November 2014 and team athlete Max King won a competitive 10K with his daughter in the kidRunner, the team has been laser focused on hitting key milestones, including finding the right partner to join their 2015 market launch team.
kidRunner initiated a formal, competitive bid process with several composite experts and evaluated three firms in Oregon and California. In late December, Composite Approach was selected as kidRunner’s 2015 Market Launch Partner.
kidRunner was founded in 2011 by partners, Will Warne, Mauricio Mejia and Andre Caradec. The partners and their wives were avid runners. But after they had their first children, they immediately realized how awkward and difficult it was to run pushing a stroller. They knew it would be far more efficient and less prone to injury to run naturally with their arms and hands free. They drafted concept sketches, built several prototypes and were awarded three patents for their innovative solutions. In 2015, kidRunner will introduce the world to the first-ever high performance, pull-style kid jogger.
“Our partnership with Composite Approach is a great example of what mentoring organizations like Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO), BVC and Grow Oregon are catalysts for here in Bend,” said Warne. “To have a company like Composite Approach in our own backyard with expertise in high-tech composite manufacturing is a tremendous advantage. Now, we can combine our collective knowledge of materials, design, functionality, engineering and the outdoors to create a beautiful, dynamic piece of sports equipment that will change the way people run and explore with kids.”
Specializing in product development and small-scale advanced composite production and assembly, Composite Approach is a full service contracting facility with the ability to design, develop and produce a wide variety of composite components and tooling. They service the aviation, transportation, marine utility vehicle and robotics industries.
Founded in Bend, Oregon, kidRunner is the world’s first high performance, all-terrain, lightweight, pull-style kid jogger. It is designed to enable runners with kids to run and explore, while retaining the efficiency and form of natural running. It is 50 percent lighter than traditional joggers. The company has plans to follow their running solution with Nordic ski and bike options. The composite frame and innovative, flexible “bow” that connects to the runner decouples the up and down motion, providing a smooth, safe, high performance ride for both runner and kid. kidRunner will be available for pre-order beginning summer 2015.