It was a crying shame, Joseph Hei thought back in 2002, watching exasperated parents dealing with clumsy, poorly designed baby strollers. His former classmate Bryan White was a new parent, and Hei was the uncle of eight nephews and nieces. “When they came to visit, I was shocked at how bad and hard to use all the car seat and stroller products were,” recalls Hei, ’97, MS ’00.
Inspired, he and White, ’97, along with their wives, Vivian Chiang, ’97, MS ’99, MBA ’04, and Farrah White, created Orbit Baby, a company focused on “smart and safe” baby transportation.
Their signature product is a seat that rotates 360 degrees into several locked positions on a stroller base. Hei says this feature comes in handy when parents are seated at restaurants, for example, where positioning the stroller is difficult. The seat also can be used as a restraint for babies in cars.
White and Hei used the principles they learned in Stanford’s product design program, focusing on how and where the product would be used. They have pleased design professionals as well as parents—ID magazine called the stroller one of 2005’s “most intriguing products.”