As athletic officials nationwide passed various regulations in the hopes of safely allowing play during a pandemic, the LSU Tigers were left with what equipment director Greg Stringfellow could describe only as “these little plastic shower curtain things” that made football helmets more like torture chambers.
That is until Jack Karavich, former chief digital architect at Honeywell and with a background in biotech engineering, stepped in with a suggestion for a new type of helmet that kept fresh air circulating.
Stringfellow and Karavich met with Jack Marucci, then-director of athletic training for LSU and who is now director of performance innovation within the athletic program, and within days a prototype for a helmet was created.
Not only did it immediately solve the problem of getting fresh air into a helmet behind additional face coverings, but it also solved the long-accepted discomfort of wearing a helmet in the first place. The trio gave the prototype to a few players.
“Each time, we got this insane reaction from the guys,” Karavich says. “It was priceless, this guttural reaction of happiness and joy.”
Stringfellow remembers translating that reaction pretty clearly: “If you can make this real, you got something going.”
That something became Tigeraire, a new, Baton Rouge-born startup company producing a slate of helmet inserts designed to increase air flow and that will begin shipping this summer.
Read the full story about Tigeraire’s rapid rise and plans to expand into industrial helmets and baseball gear from the latest edition of Business Report. Send comments to email@example.com.