Lin Wentian, an overseas returnee whose company Mombaba operates in the Weifang High-Tech Industrial Development Zone, is improving life for new parents with his knowledge of the new materials and technology sector.
By using new materials, baby feeding bottles designed by Lin can cool boiling water to below 50 C in only 39 seconds. After adding infant milk formula, the bottles can maintain the formula temperature at 39 C.
Baby bottles are a common item for families, but Lin's bottles, for which he has four patents, are new in the market.
The bottles use the latest research results from leading research institutions such as the Chinese Academy of Sciences, according to Lin.
Lin studied at the Chinese Academy of Sciences for six years, including time as an exchange student at the University of Pennsylvania. During his studies, he dreamed of using new materials and technology to improve people's lives.
Lin Wentian's company was awarded at the 4th China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition. Photo provided to China Daily.
"I noticed many new materials and technologies were not commercialized. I think that is a pity," Lin said. "I made a decision that I would run a startup sooner or later so as to change people's lives with more new materials and technologies."
When he returned to China in 2010, Lin took some time to consider which business sector he could best tap.
In 2013, when he was working for a property development company in Beijing, his first child was born and he had to prepare formula for the newborn late at night. Lin found the baby bottles available had many shortcomings, such as the contents being slow to cool and parents not knowing the exact temperature.
"At that time, I expected there would be a bottle that could cool water quickly and display the temperature," Lin said.
Realizing was no such bottle existed, he saw his chance.
In a market survey, Lin found young Chinese parents pay more attention to the safety of baby products than to prices.
In May 2015, Lin left his job and formed a small development team with less than 10 staff members.
Lin planned to use three materials in the baby bottles — thermal conducting materials, phase-change materials and antibiotic stainless steel, known to those in industry as Grade 304 stainless steel.
Inspired by a mug that could cool boiling water in seconds, Lin decided to use a newly developed nanometer phase-change material to achieve the same effect in baby bottles.
He then looked for thermal conductive materials to achieve quick cooling. He considered materials developed by the US Oak Ridge National Laboratory, but abandoned that plan as it meant the production cost of each bottle would soar to 40,000 yuan ($6,310).
He finally found materials from the Chinese Academy of Sciences that achieved the same result.
When he finished his design and was ready to make samples, he could not find the grade of stainless steel he required.
He considered abandoning the project but it was hard to give up, he said.
Lin and his team finally found the antibiotic stainless steel the bottles required.
"Starting a business is difficult, and starting a business without funds is even more difficult. But if you persist and make good preparations in the early stage, you will have a better chance to be successful."
The CAS (Weifang) Innovation Park in Blue Wisdom Valley has provided strong support for Lin's projects. His company was among the top 20 companies in Shandong in the 4th China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition earlier this year.
In August, 2,000 Mombaba bottles were sold on the JD Equity Crowdfunding platform.
Lin is working on more products such as diapers and smart toothbrushes for children. He wants to develop a business model that consists of design and production units, smart hardware, an online community and online trading platform.
"We will use new materials, technologies and designs to upgrade the traditional maternal and children's products market," Lin said.
"That's the main purpose of my study — to change people's lives with love and technology."
Song Yihang contributed to the story.