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Ann Arbor, MI

Jeff Plott

Brothers Jeff and Chris Plott had a cool idea for new product - a sport bottle flexible enough to flip inside out for easy washing. It was so good they even started a business around, Flipsi Bottle. Then they pivoted.

Well, maybe pivoted isn't the best word to describe what happened. They Ann Arbor-based company did adjust its focus from making flexible sports bottles to flexible baby bottles.

"Some people would say we're not really interested in a sport bottle, but I would be interested in a baby bottle," Jeff Plott says. "At the same time my brother had his first child."

Flipsi Bottle's primary product is a plastic bottle made of food-grade silicone. That way it's flexible enough to turn inside out and green enough to be made of sustainable materials without toxins users have to worry about. Check out a video of how the one of the early prototype sports bottles work here.

The baby bottle, which is marketed as Flipsi, works in much the same way, except the product is smaller. The Plott brothers were developing both the sport and the baby bottle in tandem, and planned on marketing both at the same time. However, time and resource scarcity prompted them to sharpen their product focus.

"We were kind of running out of bandwidth," Jeff Plott says. "We decided to concentrate on one product that is great and come back to the other one."

That doesn't mean the sport bottle product is dead. Think of it more as on pause until the company can get traction with its baby bottle product.

"We didn't plan on abandoning the sport bottle by any means," Plott says. "We just shifted our focus."

Flipsi Bottle's evolution to the baby bottle is proving to be a more efficient use of resources in a number of different ways. For instance, new parents needs a collection of numerous baby bottles to feed their newborn. Those same people probably only one, at most a couple, sports bottles at a time.

Plus the Flipsi baby bottle is just smaller. While the sports bottle holds 22 ounces of liquid, the baby bottle holds nine ounces. That means less material to make the product and easier manipulation for the user.

"The overall size of what you need to flip is just smaller with the baby bottle," Plott says.

All of these factors added up made for an easy decision for the Plott brothers.

"It just made sense for the baby bottle," Plott says.

- Written by Jon Zemke

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