By Diane Mastrull
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The simplicity of “Tozuda” sensors is emphasized in the company tagline: If it’s red, check your head. The sensors are 1.4-inch plastic capsules containing a spring, two tiny steel balls, a clear liquid blend and a red powder dye. The liquid will turn red when a potentially concussive hit is detected.
Jessie Garcia’s fortitude is a subject of occasional, exasperated observation by her Grandma Hortensia.
“Tú eres muy tozuda!” the elder Garcia tells her granddaughter in Spanish. “You are very hardheaded.”
So far, that condition has served Jessie Garcia well, if not wisely in some cases.
As a student at Lehigh University in 2009, Garcia continued playing in a rugby game after she was knocked to the ground with a concussion that left her with blurry vision, nausea, and sensitivity to light and noise for months.
Years later, however, that same stubbornness gave her the fortitude not only to endure, but to recover from another blow, discovering that someone had already come up with her idea for a start-up: mouth guards designed to electronically detect a concussion-caliber impact.
For three years after that letdown, the 28-year-old Bensalem resident worked on lower-cost mechanical alternatives.
That time involved more setbacks, six different redesigns, a personal investment of $80,000, and a fair amount of frustration.