After she graduated, she decided to make the idea a reality as an entrepreneur. She could see the demand for such a device could be enormous and global. By her calculation, as many as 100 million children with disabilities could benefit from the safety and psychological advantages of the CloudCuddle.
Freedom, stress relief and better sleep
In 2016, the company was born, and the first models became available the following year. The device has a CE-certification as a Class I Medical Device. Aside from being portable, the CloudCuddle costs much less than a normal wooden secure crib for disabled children.
To date, about 1 500 families have benefited from the CloudCuddle, either through rentals or sales, Lotte says, mostly in the Netherlands and Belgium. She said she expects the company to sell 350 units in 2021, and the company is looking for investors to help expand sales into other European countries, like Germany and France.
The small business took part in the 2020 Social Innovation Tournament, which is organised by the European Investment Bank Institute to promote creative responses to societal problems. Cloud Cuddle was one of 15 finalists selected from an outstanding group of 216 candidates in 31 countries and invited to attend the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship programme. The Social Innovation Tournament recognises and supports the best European social entrepreneurs, promoting and rewarding innovative ideas that have social, ethical or environmental impact.
For Lotte, seeing her invention help people has been one of the best aspects of her work. “It’s amazing to hear what a difference it makes. The three keys elements are freedom, stress relief and better sleep for everyone. And so the impact in so many lives is incredible,” she says.
Louise Ooscholt for one is happy to talk about that impact. “We wish we had had something like this 20 years ago,” she says. “There have been so many nights awake. For Loes too. But now the Cuddle is like her sleeping home – she’s relaxed by it, and so we are too.”