How Shawn Springs Becomes A Tech Entrepreneur

Shawn Springs is well known for being the highest cornerback to be drafted in the NFL having been done so by the Seattle Seahawks. That said, Shawn Springs is also known for his revolutionary technology in football helmets.

And the main material used in protection is the foam protection used in car seats and is dubbed “Crash Cloud”. This will hopefully improve the odds of experiencing brain trauma for football players.

Early Career:

However, Springs wasn’t always as enthusiastic about football. His real passion was architecture. He eventually followed in his father’s footsteps by playing football in high school and then later going on to become recruited at Ohio State University.

His superb football skills at the University was what eventually earned him a place at the NFL.

Soon Shawn Springs was back in Seattle where he was recruited by the Seahawks, owned by the co-founder of Microsoft Paul Allen. This was during the late 1990s when all kinds of giant brands as we know them today were developing. Think of Amazon and Starbucks!

Entrepreneurial Interests:

It was this technological era and the mentor Paul Allen that sparked Shawn Springs to shift his focus into entrepreneurship.

Once Springs retired from the NFL, he set out to change the phase of football helmets. This was after he discovered that the basic design of the helmets was pretty much the same for the last 30 years. Springs found that the helmet his father wore back in 1987 hadn’t changed much with the helmets he wore throughout his careers.

Shawn Springs was certainly ambitious, and his goal was to minimize the head injuries caused by the impact.

In a discussion with his former boss and co-founder of Microsoft Paul Allen, Shawn asked what it took to be a billionaire. His boss gave him a response that would stick with him. He said, “It’s not about being a billionaire, it’s about doing something disruptive and being innovative.”

But venturing into impact protection also has deeper and personal foundations for the former NFL player. He remembers when his children were young. The family was in a car accident and while the car was totaled, his kids came out unharmed as they were strapped to their car seats.

Soon after Shawn Springs retired from the NFL, he had made friends with a man called Ken Duffy who worked for a company that manufactured children’s products called Dorel Juvenile Group.

Duffy had given his friend a children’s car seat with an innovative design that meant to keep the child head safe from impact in case of an accident.

The technology quickly caught the attention of Shawn Springs and in 2011, Springs asked Duffy how it worked.

Duffy gave Springs a sample padding like that used on the car seat. Springs went home and smashed one of his helmets on the padding. He wanted to see firsthand how the padding responded to the impact.

Establishing Windpact:

Later the same year Shawn Springs went on to establish Windpact, a company focused on producing advanced impact protection products.

Springs brought together a team of engineers, scientists as well as designers to come up with a product that would dissipate the impact thus reducing the effects of collisions.

The goal was to not just produce football helmets but also products that could be used in the military as well such as the US Army Enhanced Combat Helmet ECH. The company is also producing helmets solutions for different sports such as baseball, skiing, cricket, cycling, and hockey.

Shawn Springs claims that the goal is to become the ‘most advanced impact protection in the world” by ensuring quality materials and technology while the competitors are focused on the customers.  In words of Shawn Springs, “I don’t have to make the boot; I just have to make the material that goes into the boot.”

Many people would have never found a connection between a car seat and a helmet, but Shawn did. Linebackers and safeties are especially prone to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy which is caused by frequent concussions to the head and can not only be debilitating but also lethal. He aims to prevent the occurrence of the condition through helmets that offer more protection to the head.

Bottom Line:

Shawn Springs graduated at the University of Ohio where he competed a Bachelor of Science in Sociology. At the university, he was also named the Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year even while he didn’t have any interceptions. His story surely serves as an inspiration to the young entrepreneurs and teenagers who are yet to decide their career paths.