CINCINNATI -- Two days before the finale, a Milford company says it is already a winner of a reality-show competition in which Walmart Stores Inc. is asking Facebook users nationwide to choose a product that it will add to its stores shelves.
Lynx Telematics LLC of Milford developed a $385 device that alerts parents when their teenagers drive dangerously. Its product is among four featured this week in an Internet-based reality show in which Walmart buyers review new products for store-shelf worthiness.The contest began at Midnight last night and runs for 72 hours.
“You can’t put a dollar figure on it,” said Vincent Rush, vice president of development for the Milford company that could gain millions in new revenue and eight to 12 new employees if it wins the Walmart contest.The company posted revenue of "just under $500,000" in 2012, Rush said.
You can see Rush’s appearance on this week’s “Webisode ” of “Get on the Shelf”and vote for the company at https://getontheshelf.walmart.com/product/1459/Lynxsafe-Teen-Driving-Mo
ABC News featured the company last week.
Rush is a local sports photographer who worked with Milford entrepreneur Pat Gunning to develop the product, LynxSafe. It send parents a text message if their teenager drives too fast, brakes too hard or turns corners too quickly.
“I lost a brother to drag racing,” Rush said. “I was one of the first people on the accident scene. I had to tell my Mom and Dad that their 16 year old wasn’t coming home. Even today, 30 years later, the tears well up if you talk to my Dad about it.”
Rush applied to Walmart’s contest months ago but forgot about it until Mark Burnett Productions invited him to California for a taping. The reality show producer is known for multiple shows, including The Voice, Survivor and The Apprentice. When it came time for Rush to pitch to Walmart producers, he threw his notes away and spoke from the heart.
“I said, ‘I don’t need a pitch. I’ve got a purpose,’” he said.
Walmart is featuring up to 20 American entrepreneurs in its Web-based reality show, but Rush said the company is getting national attention that will enable growth whether Walmart stocks the product or not. The company has been trying to sell the product through schools until now. He’s convinced those efforts will accelerate whether or not Walmart agrees to stock LynxSafe on its shelves.