'Shark Tank's Beebo Gives Parents A Helping Hand

by Laura Rosenfeld

Break out that business suit, and double check your valuation. It's time to head back into the Shark Tank with the Season 7 premiere Friday night. And what better way to start a new season than with a baby product? Yes, The Beebo will be one of the first products brought into the Tank for this new season, and, once you see how ingenious this product is, you might just be looking up where to buy The Beebo, whether or not you have a little one at home.

But don't think for a second that the entrepreneur behind The Beebo is going to have an easy time in the Tank just because a baby product inherently inspires the warm and fuzzies in all who encounter it. Sure, Lori Greiner gets sentimental pretty easily, and guest Shark Ashton Kutcher will probably melt into a puddle on the floor the second he sees The Beebo in action now that he is a new dad. Still, Kevin "Mr. Wonderful" O'Leary is pretty ruthless, and Mark Cuban generally has a no-nonsense attitude, so they might take some convincing to see the value of The Beebo.

The Beebo , $30, Amazon

That won't be that hard if the entrepreneur behind The Beebo is sure to mention the following during his pitch to the Sharks. Like many of the best products out there, The Beebo could really be useful to parents, and it has an inspiring story behind it, too. Here are six reasons why The Beebo could become the next Shark Tank success story.

1. It Lends Parents A Hand

Most parents of young children probably wish they had an extra hand all of the time, and The Beebo, a hands-free bottle holder, essentially makes that wish come true. Just sling The Beebo over your shoulder, place any size bottle into the holder, and rotate it to the best position to feed your child. The Beebo is sure to have you saying, "Look, baby! No hands!"

2. Hold Your Baby, Not The Bottle

Having The Beebo hold your bottle isn't lazy; it's smart. With a free hand to hold a book, toy, or your baby closer, The Beebo is designed to help you better engage with your child. This product could also help bring your family closer together as a whole by allowing you to care for multiple children at the same time, and bring your baby to the dinner table to allow you both to connect with the rest of your family during meals. The Beebo also helps hold your baby upright during bottle feeding, which could lessen gas build-up, the product's inventor Martin Hill said in an interview in April with Fox's St. Louis affiliate FOX2. And we all know less gas is always a good thing.

3. You Can Buy The Beebo Now

If you like what you're reading, you can currently buy The Beebo online from the product's official website, and Amazon. The Beebo retails for $40 and comes in three eye-pleasing colors (orange, yellow, and aqua). Hmmmm, I wonder if they make Beebos for adults. Just asking for a friend, of course.

4. Necessity Made This Father Invent

When Hill realized reading time was one of the only times his fussy eater infant son was most relaxed, he wanted to try to feed him, but couldn't flip the pages of the book at the same time. So Hill, an engineer by trade, went into his garage to try to invent something to free up his hand and made the first Beebo prototype out of Styrofoam, a cell phone case, and a kitchen drying mat. That not only gave Hill an easier way to feed his son, but it also gave him what could become the next great baby product.

5. The Beebo Might Be The Most Progressive Baby Product Ever

After Hill and his family moved from St. Louis to South Florida in support of his wife's career, he became a stay-at-home dad taking care of his then-2-year-old daughter and 3-month-old son, according to Entrepreneur. After returning to work as an engineer briefly, Hill became a full-time "dadtrepreneur," staying home to look after his children while also trying to get The Beebo off the ground. Hill seems proud of his status as a "dadtrepreneur," something I noted a lack of on Shark Tank last season, and the company seems to be using fathers in its promotional materials as much as mothers. If The Beebo helps change attitudes about child-rearing among men, that really would be something.

6. The Beebo Has Some Competition

I'm sure the Sharks are either going to ask about The Beebo's competition or bring it up themselves. They always do. Unfortunately for Hill, there are some similar products to The Beebo already out in the market and selling at major retailers like Amazon and Bed, Bath & Beyond. However, an appearance on Shark Tank should give The Beebo a leg up on the competition for sure, so Hill and company should be ready to pop open a bottle once the show premieres.

Bella Baby Bottle Holder, $33, Amazon; Podee Hands Free Baby Bottle Feeding System, $9, Bed Bath & Beyond

Images: Tyler Golden/ABC (2)