Local Startup Tranquilo Mat Will Appear on ‘Shark Tank’
Melissa Gersin, a former maternity nurse and certified infant crying specialist, almost let her idea for a baby-soothing mat die. She pitched it to her former employer at Tufts Medical Center, but the hospital turned it down.
But the idea kept nagging at her, so she forged ahead on her own, eventually bringing the product to market. After winning $50,000 at MassChallenge last November, Gersin is taking her idea to an even bigger stage. She’ll pitch her invention, the Tranquilo Mat, on Friday’s episode of Shark Tank.
The vibrating, battery-operated mat can be used anywhere to soothe upset infants. The mat is meant to replicate the pre-birth environment of the womb, with its white noise and constant motion, using customizable vibration settings and gentle sounds.
While the mat is already available for purchase online, Gersin says she’s ready to grow. Just when she was about to start fundraising for an expansion, someone at Shark Tank asked Gersin if she wanted to apply for the show. She decided to take the leap.
While Gersin can’t reveal much about the experience before the episode airs—catch it Friday, February 10—she did express how thankful she is for the opportunity.
“It was such an honor to be able to pitch my product to the most famous and toughest investors in the country. I’m so grateful for the opportunity and validation that such an experience can provide a small business,” Gersin says. “I went into it knowing that as long as I did my best, whether or not I got a deal wasn’t as important to me as the experience. Overall, deal or no deal, I’ll always be so proud of my performance and happy with the outcome from such a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Gersin’s episode will air Friday, February 10, at 9 p.m. on ABC.