2016 CKW LUXE STAR AWARDS
THE SHINING STAR AWARD SHARED HONOREE
Sean Gilmore: A Young Inventor and Entrepreneur Who Turns Ideas into Solutions
CKW Luxe is proud to announce that Sean Gilmore is a shared honoree for the Shining Star Award. This award recognizes the young people who have made a significant impact on their community through innovation or entrepreneurship. It shows our appreciation for those who start small and end up big letting their stars shine.
“Find something that you think is beneficial to the community where you live, and then figure out how to share it with the world.” – Sean Gilmore
Sean Harrison Gilmore is a high school student at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory School in Houston. When Sean isn’t working or studying, he enjoys video gaming and computer design. He also plays lacrosse for Strake Jesuit and hopes to play it in college as well.
Sean practices what he believes. At the age of ten, while in fifth grade at River Oaks Elementary School, his science teacher, Mr. Rainn, convinced him to enter the school’s Inventor’s Showcase. It encouraged the kids to come up with solutions to everyday problems. Sean gave the challenge a lot of thought. He understood young people love to have their friends over for sleepovers, but don’t always have an extra bed to offer them. He also recognized the fact that kids might like privacy during sleepovers when space is limited. And he knew how much they love forts. He and his friends often made their own during sleepovers.
Having identified the need for privacy in a limited amount of space and wanting to combine the solution with a design that was fun, Sean built a model of a bed tent and entered it. He won second place at his school, and, as a result, was invited to display his invention at the Children’s Museum of Houston. Because his idea was so popular with kids, he asked his mom to try and find a way to really make a tent. She found him a manufacturer. Sean worked on prototypes for two years until he came up with a tent design that would allow its inhabitants to “sleep single in a double.”
The result of Sean’s innovative thinking and hard work was “The Sleepover Bed Tent,” which allows two people, no matter their ages, to share a double space and have a single experience. They can occupy the same full- or queen-sized bed while feeling like they are in a bed of their own. Sean launched his company in 2014 and received the patent on his invention in 2016.
Here’s how its unique design works. The tent has a center panel that can remain lowered for privacy or raised for enjoying a friend’s company. To optimize fun during sleepovers, there are windows at the end so kids can look out, play video games, or watch TV. But, as with all good inventions, The Sleepover Bed Tent can be adapted to more uses than that for which it was originally intended. Schools can use it to save money by booking fewer rooms for field trips while creating privacy for students sharing the same accommodations. It can also be used by families and individuals to provide private sleeping space for friends and family when they visit.
When designing The Sleepover Bed Tent, Sean thought of everything to accommodate the comfort of its inhabitants and to make it fun for them. But he didn’t stop there. He also made it easy to use and transport and to slip onto any queen- or full-sized bed. There are even two models. Model A is made from canvas and is waterproof. It can be used indoors, but it can also be used outdoors when placed on a blow up mattress. Model B is made from a nylon fabric and is intended for indoor use only.
Because he believes in encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit in other young people, Sean has been a frequent speaker on inventing, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy at events for teen entrepreneurs and young inventors. To chronicle the process of creating his own invention from idea to finished product and encourage other young people to follow their own entrepreneurial dreams, Sean published a book in 2015 called, “Making Money While You’re Sleeping: My Journey as a Kid Entrepreneur.” It is described as a book “written to help young people and teens understand the steps and processes needed to begin a business of their own,” by Amazon.com.
A featured speaker for the launch of the Houston Community College Teen Entrepreneur College, Sean now serves on the Houston Community College Teen Entrepreneur Advisory Board. He has also been featured in the Houston Chronicle, the Houston Defender, the Houston Forward Times, and the DePelchin Children’s Center publication. As well, Sean has made appearances on Great Day Houston with Deborah Duncan, KPRC 2 Houston, and FOX 26 Houston.
In 2015, Sean worked as a Discovery Guide volunteer for the Children’s Museum of Houston and received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for his work there. He has also served as a volunteer with Living Water International where he had the opportunity to participate in the digging of a water well in Guatemala.
Described as creative and ambitious, and the peacemaker among his friends, by his mother, Judge Vanessa Gilmore, Sean represents the best of what today’s youth have to offer. By identifying a need he himself recognized, Sean set to work to design something that would answer that need and be fun for its users at the same time. Since doing so, Sean has gone on to provide guidance to young would-be inventors and entrepreneurs by writing a book about his experience and sharing his story at events designed just for them. He also volunteers his time to worthy causes that benefit those in his community as well as beyond it. As his statement so clearly conveys, Sean recognized a need in his community and worked with great persistence to “figure it out and share it with the world.” He continues to do so with entrepreneurial spirit.
CKW Luxe would like to congratulate Sean Gilmore for being a shared honoree of this year’s Shining Star Award. As the embodiment of the award, Sean took an idea, figured out its solution, and created a product that was beneficial to his community. In essence, he started small and ended up big. We don’t know of many young people Sean’s age who have their own patent or who own their own company, and we would like to show our appreciation to Sean for making his idea into a reality that is useful for so many.