2023 Most Disruptive Business School Startups: Waterwatch, Texas Christian University (Neeley)


Texas Christian University, Neeley School of Business

Website Link: wtrwatch.com

Industry: Safety Product

Founding Student Name(s): Forrest Williams

Brief Description of Solution: The Waterwatch is a wearable bracelet/watch that alerts a parent’s cell phone when a child falls into a body of water

What led you to launch this venture? I grew up around lakes and pools, and I have known families who lost a child in an unintentional drowning. This sparked my interest in fixing the problem. Growing up I hated wearing life jackets, but if I was around water, I was required to wear one. Not liking lifejackets caused me to develop the idea to have a wearable band that can alert the parent if the child falls in the water.

What has been your biggest accomplishment so far with venture? My biggest accomplishment so far with the venture is successfully building and testing my working prototype.

How has your business-related major helped you further this startup venture? My business major of Entrepreneurship and Innovation has helped me with this startup venture by supplying me with resources through teachers, school programs, and classes. They not only put me in the mindset to come up with the idea, but also how to carry out a successful business plan.

Which business class has been most valuable in building your startup and what was the biggest lesson you gained from it? The most valuable business class regarding building my startup is most definitely Entrepreneurial Opportunity Recognition. I took this class during my second semester of my sophomore year and it is the reason that I came up with my venture idea. The class helped me identify the first steps to getting started. The biggest lesson I gained from this class is to constantly think of something in the world that needs to be fixed or improved. I also learned a significant amount about recognizing competitors and if an idea is attainable.

What business professor made a significant contribution to your plans and why? Professor Paul Evans made a significant contribution to my plans, as he was the first person I reached out to regarding my idea. He supported the concept and ensured me that the idea was realistic within the market of safety products. Not only did he support the original idea, but I have had multiple meetings with Professor Evans about my progress since starting and he regularly provides me with resources to further my venture progress.

What founder or entrepreneur inspired you to start your own entrepreneurial journey? How did he or she prove motivational to you? I don’t know if there is a single entrepreneur who inspired me to start my own journey, but there are certainly a few people that sparked my innovative spirit. Although he was not an entrepreneur, my grandfather invented farming equipment for International Harvester. Ever since I was a little kid, I was always trying to invent products or come up with solutions to problems I would notice and this interest in inventing products was inspired by him. I also think of Jamie Siminoff, the man who invented the Ring doorbell. His story about creating the extremely successful Ring product and company inspired me to do something with the ideas that I have.

What is your long-term goal with your startup? My long-term goal with my startup is to implement other ideas that I have and grow them into a multifaceted child safety product company. I want to make an impact on the current trends of drowning deaths in children, which have been relatively the same for the past 20 years. Along with making an impact through my product, I want to use a certain percentage of revenue to start a Water Safety organization that helps children learn how to swim.


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