Hooked on the SAF-T VEST

Davenport SAF-T Systems lands a Runner-Up finish at 2024 Walleye Tank

MINNEAPOLIS (March 18, 2024) – Minnesota’s walleye opener may still be weeks away, but Davenport SAF-T Systems only needed two minutes to attract some promising nibbles.

The company was awarded “Runner-Up” in the 2024 spring Walleye Tank pitch competition at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. The recognition includes a $4,000 cash prize and the iconic Walleye Tank trophy.

Davenport SAF-T Systems advisors Mae Davenport (left) and Brian Kohlbeck (center) along with Co-Founer Ryan Davenport celebrate after being named Runner-Up at the 2024 Walleye Tank.

“I’m grateful to be able to participate in this fantastic event and share the SAF-T VEST story,” he said. “We received so much positive feedback from attendees. Then to be named a Runner-Up tells me we’re clearly on the right path.” More than 40 start-ups applied to Walleye Tank and 13 were chosen to pitch. Each pitch was limited to two minutes, followed by four minutes of questions from the judges.

“All the start-ups made compelling presentations,” Davenport said. “It was a privilege just to be in the room with these amazing companies to hear their pitches.” The sold-out event drew 250 people to the 3M auditorium. Walleye Tank was also livestreamed to accommodate even more people.

Since debuting its SAF-T VEST prototype in December of 2023, Davenport SAF-T Systems has been increasing its visibility. In January, the company exhibited the SAF-T VEST from a booth at the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It was featured in the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal, and later was part of a Minneapolis Star Tribune article about founders overcoming challenges to develop and show off their big ideas.

About the SAF-T VEST
Davenport SAF-T Systems is developing the SAF-T VEST to reduce devastating injuries from falls. More than one in four older adults in the U.S. falls each year and 20% result in a serious injury, such as a broken bone or a head injury. Jay A. Davenport, M.D., Co-Founder and chief medical officer, designed the SAF-T VEST following a 30-year career as a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon. The SAF-T VEST uses a motion sensor to detect a person’s fall in real time. Airbags inflate in less than a half-second, then deflate to absorb the impact of the fall—from the hips to the head. The SAF-T VEST is a patented (U.S. Patent #10,879,938 B2) technology designed to reduce healthcare costs and help older adults remain active and independent. More at davenportsaftsystems.com.