Local startup hopes to manufacture potentially life-saving seats

Local startup hopes to manufacture potentially life-saving seats

WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - A local startup owner and i.d.e.a. WF finalist is pushing forward with his invention although he did not win the grand prize.

Following the Las Vegas shooting at the Route 91 Harvest music festival that killed 58 and injured hundreds, Steven Cooper thought of a unique product that could quickly convert into a bulletproof vest.

“I saw a seat on one of the broadcasts and it was a folded stadium seat sitting in the parking lot and it had a bullet hole in the middle of it, ” said Cooper.

It was that seat that sparked his creation.

"It pretty much seems like they're happening everywhere, schools, churches, work place. Everywhere," said Cooper.

With that in mind he immediately picked up a pencil and started to design a stadium seat which converts into a vest or shield in seconds.

“We’re going to offer it in two levels,” said Cooper. A 3a, the NIJ rating on that 3a soft plate we’re going to use is going to be able to stop six rounds of .44 magnum and we also have a level 3 that will stop six rounds of .308."

Cooper’s startup business plan was one of six finalist during the 2018 i.d.e.a. WF competition. Without taking home a prize, now, Cooper is looking for investors.

“We’re looking for a way to get this thing financed and get it out there,” said Cooper. “We’ve identified a facility close by that can produce it for us so we got the manufacturing worked out, and we already got the distributor ship agreement with two plate manufactures.”

It’s a vision Cooper is determined to make a reality.

“We’re not going to stop," said Cooper. “This is something that’s going to save lives so that’s why it’s important for us to get it out on the market.”

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