Preventing Impact Injuries

Shawn Springs was born in 1975 to parents who were both 18 years old. His father was a star football player while his mother enlisted in the Army. He was raised by his grandmother and aunts while his parents were away.

Shawn was also an excellent football player and starred at Ohio State. But football wasn’t his only passion. He wanted to be an architect. An injury on the football field ultimately led him to pursue his second passion.

Shawn was the third player selected in the 1997 NFL draft and the highest draft choice ever for a cornerback. He went to Seattle and became immersed in the entrepreneurial culture of the city. Amazon and Starbucks were just taking off.

Shawn’s career in the NFL went from 1997-2009. It was a concussion that Shawn suffered in 2004 that became the impetus for his second passion; building something. In this case, the something was an innovative company.

At the time, Shawn had four children and became intrigued by the safety features in car seats. He wondered if the technology used to protect a child’s head could also be used for football helmets. A visit to the manufacturer of the car seats led Shawn to create Windpact, an impact protection company.

Shawn was able to obtain patents on the use of padding technology for helmets. He was also able to obtain a patent for a new technology called Crash Cloud, which combines foam and controlled air to reduce impact forces.

Today Windpact is “A software company and technology company” which is developing new technology applications in a number of areas.

It’s not often that a person can fulfill two passions in one’s life. But a challenging experience from one passion can often become the beginning for another passion. Opportunities often have their origins in what, at the time, seems to be a setback.

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            “We talk about it often in sports—the importance of being a role model, how you affect your community, doing the right thing, That’s why I’m so excited to [show] that it doesn’t matter the color of your skin, your background, what you’ve done before. If you have a wonderful, beautiful idea that you can share with the rest of the world—maybe get it patented—to make the world a better place, that’s what’s important. And when you think about sports … how cool would it be to be a role model and an inventor to where kids could say, ‘You know what? I can do both.’”- Shawn Springs

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