The first in a series of talks from high profile female entrepreneurs has taken place at the University of Suffolk.
Mandy Haberman is an expert on infant feeding with over 35 years’ experience. Formerly a graphic designer, her career changed direction when her third child was born with a syndrome that made normal feeding impossible. Dedicating her life to helping mothers feed their babies in the best way possible and to helping youngsters develop feeding independence; she became an award-winning inventor and entrepreneur.
Mandy is the recipient of a number of prestigious awards for her innovations: British Female Inventor of the Year in 2000; shortlisted as a finalist of the prestigious Veuve Clicquot Business Women of the Year Award and recognized by HM Queen Elizabeth as a ‘Pioneer to the Life of the Nation’ in 2003. She is also an inspirational speaker advocating for women in business, highlighting the importance of innovation and intellection property.
The Suffolk Centre for Female Entrepreneurship launched in October to mark the one year anniversary of IWIC, the Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre, based at the University.
Stef Thorne, Head of Research and Enterprise Services at the University, said “The Centre and events like this illustrate the important contribution the University can make. It has been a pleasure for us to welcome Mandy as the inaugural speaker for our Women in Enterprise Speaker Series.”
Inventor and entrepreneur Mandy Haberman said “It was an absolute privilege to be here because I think what they have set up here the most exciting thing I have seen in education for innovation in a long time. If I was starting out, my life would have been so much easier if it had been here for me. If you’re an entrepreneur you often start up in your kitchen, building your business on your own, there is no one to spark ideas off, no one to give you that moral support and if you want expertise you have to pay for it, you don’t know where to go for it so having an open house here for innovation I think is a huge benefit and opportunity and I think it is a fantastic resource.”
“I am best known for the Anywayup® cup which was the world’s first totally non spill children’s trainer cup that sealed by itself when it came out of the child’s mouth, that was in the 1990’s and it revolutionised the market. I had three children and had been through the years of mopping the floor and mess everywhere and then when my youngest was ten we were at a friend’s house for tea and the mum there with a toddler and this mother was rugby diving to rescue this child’s cup before it hit the carpet every time and left a trail of stains everywhere. Having been through the problem myself and then seeing it objectively that little bit later that’s what got me started thinking there has to be a better way and I’m sure I can do something about this.”
“My latest product which we have launched under Haberman Baby is the Haberman Suckle Feeder, a feeder that complements breast feeding where the teat stays filled at any angle so the baby can sit up right to feed and avoid reflux. It is much more compatible with breast feeding than with anything else. We have been working on this for about seven years now and we are really excited because it has medical implications. It makes babies feed using the same level of activity as breast feeding so they are at much less risk of obesity and all the problems associated with bottle feeding at the moment. It emulates breast feeding.”
“I think the biggest tip for entrepreneurs is to believe in yourself, have the confidence of your conviction. It is tough for everybody, male and female, so don’t feel the path ahead of you is particular difficult because you are a woman, it’s not. It is difficult for everybody but if you are totally committed and if you don’t mind working hard and taking the knocks, just carry on and you’ll get there in the end.”
University of Suffolk Press Office
T: 01473 338476