A Marshall County couple’s invention featured on the Katie Couric syndicated daily talk show “Katie” has been put on the fast track by a New York company for development and production, with more potential markets for the invention than the one for which it was originally designed.
The invention, a system to alert parents to bedwetting, won the Nov. 4 contest on the show’s “Mothers of Invention” segment, said Lucas Phelps, a computer administrator for the Marshall County Board of Education and husband to Juliet Phelps, who appeared on stage with two other moms.
Assisting Couric in judging the three inventions were Ben Kaufman, CEO of Quirky, and Barbara Corcoran, of Shark Tank.
Lucas Phelps said that Quirky has decided to put development and production of their invention on the fast track. It could be on the market in as little time as six months, he said.
He also said that there might be a second version of their invention, one that could be used in hospitals and nursing homes and for home health care.
“That would be a huge market,” he said.
In addition to spending a couple of days in New York, the Phelpses were able to tour the Quirky facilities in Manhattan, he said. He had spoken with many people there over the phone in the past, but “it was neat to see them and shake their hands,” he said.
Although nervous about appearing on national TV, his wife Juliet, who runs an online clothing business from home, seems to have gotten a bigger bite from the entrepreneurial bug as well.
The best part of their experience, besides winning, according to Lucas Phelps, has been seeing the possibilities of more ideas “lit up in her eyes.”