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Mizzen+Main Founder Kevin Lavelle Brings His Innovative Touch to Baby Monitors

Harbor’s device has a remote night-nanny service that allows parents to rest easy.
| |Photography courtesy of HARBOR
Sleep well: Harbor’s app-enabled monitor allows parents to rest easy knowing their baby is being carefully watched.

For new parents, the first months of a child’s life are always a mixture of inexplicable joy and constant exhaustion. A night nanny can help them get their rest in the early weeks, but the service is not affordable or accessible for most. Dallas-based Harbor came out of stealth mode this year with a tech-enabled baby monitor device that provides access to a remote night nanny to ensure the baby is safe and that every noise doesn’t awaken parents.

Harbor co-founder and CEO Kevin Lavelle—the mind behind performance dress shirt company Mizzen + Main—raised $3.7 million in seed funding for the startup. Early investors include former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, former tennis star John Isner, current NFL punter Thomas Morstead, and Dallas investor Rogers Healy. 

Harbor’s video monitor is like most high-end devices but isn’t dependent on Wi-Fi. It provides remote access via an app and can record and rewind. What separates it from others is the option to upgrade to a dedicated remote human who monitors the situation and can turn down the device’s volume in the parents’ room and watch the child sleep through the night. If the baby makes a noise that doesn’t warrant immediate attention, the remote worker won’t notify the parents, allowing them to sleep knowing their baby is being closely watched. If the disturbance doesn’t resolve itself quickly, then he or she will raise the volume on the parents’ end to let them know that it is time to feed or comfort their child.

Lavelle, a father of two, knows how much interrupted sleep can impact the rest of the family and one’s mental health. “It changed our sanity and our marriage; there’s this sense that there’s hope tonight,” he says of his innovation. “When you go days without sleep, it’s a dark time.”

Harbor launched its waiting list in February, is hosting a pre-sale by June, and plans on shipping its first devices this summer. It has hired a director of nursing and is building up its corps of night nannies, with US-based and Philippines-based nannies. As the name suggests, Lavelle hopes the device can provide relief and keep families humming. “Ships are meant to be out at sea but have to recharge in the harbor,” he says. “Then they can conquer and explore and do all the things they are meant to do in the world.”  


Will Maddox

Will Maddox

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Will is the senior writer for D CEO magazine and the editor of D CEO Healthcare. He's written about healthcare…