Sticky solution: Seattle startup invents ice packs you can wear + reuse
SEATTLE -- A Seattle entrepreneur went from injury -- to invention.
Noah Soltes was lifting weights at the gym a few years ago when he tore his left bicep. Hurt and in pain, he rushed home and put a 4-pound bag of ice on his arm -- only to end up with a second wound.
"The bag slipped out of my hand, fell on my toe, and it broke my toe," Soltes said. "I hurt myself, and then I broke a toe trying to hold something to my arm that simply couldn't be held. I knew at that point we needed something different."
More than two years -- and more than 1,000 prototypes later -- Soltes has invented an ice pack that sticks. PAINCAKES are cold packs with a reusable adhesive patch on one side, so the user can attach the pack to the skin -- and leave it -- binding it to a bicep, adhering it to an elbow, and more.
"It makes perfect sense. I can't believe it hasn't been thought of before," said Margaret Kluz, a worker at the startup -- and a wearer of the technology. "'Where can I buy one?'" is the question people always ask when they hear about the product, she says.
Soltes said he went through hundreds of samples to get an adhesive gel that could withstand freezing temperatures. It was a new venture for Soltes, who has invented everything from chewable toothbrushes to single-use nail polish.
"We've taken high technology to a very low-tech product," he said. "It's probably the most high- tech cold pack in the world at this point."
The company will launch its crowdfunding campaign on Oct. 24. Cold packs range in price from $5 to $11.95, Soltes said.
A portion of the profits will be donated to Lift for the 22, a non-profit that fights suicide among veterans by donating gym memberships and encouraging a health lifestyle.
The startup plans to sell PAINCAKES in retail sporting good stores, on Amazon and online.
"The mother of all invention is usually incredible frustration," Soltes said.