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Gary Burns of CarGo Seat

2017 WeDO Scotland New Start Business of the Year Award Winner

CarGo Seat is a unique booster seat for children aged 6-10 years that converts to a roller travel suitcase and was founded by Gary Burns.  The seat acts as travel storage with a smart store handle, carry strap and storage volume to accommodate clothing and toys. Once placed in the car seat, two release buttons allow the pop up seat belt guides to engage turning it into a booster seat. 

The idea for CarGO Seat came to Gary whilst on holiday when hiring a car plus two booster seats for his children.  Upon finding the seats to be dirty and dented, and amid concerns about their safety as well as the €70 charge, he thought he could create something better. The result of his efforts is the unique was a 12-litre capacity children’s suitcase that folds into a booster seat.

After an unsuccessful entry in 2013, In June 2015, CarGo Seat won the Wild Card (£10,000) at Scottish Edge, the funding competition aimed at identifying Scotland’s top young, early stage and high growth potential entrepreneurs.  Later in 2015, Gary applied for the full Scottish Edge and selected from over 260 companies who made the semi-finals in Edinburgh through to the finals.  Only 14 companies out of a total of 23 won funding with CarGo seat winning £75,000.

In 2017, Gary faced tough competition in the WeDO Scotland Awards and was crowned our New Start Business Award.

A source of pride to Gary is the fact that every element of CarGo Seats are Made in Britain having made a conscious decision not to go down the route of importing from China.  All production of test and prototype CarGo seats has been done by Borders-based Mainetti, and the seat cover is manufactured by Beal Group in Glasgow. 

CarGo Seat has launched in the UAE and in November 2017, launched on The Grommet, an innovative website in the USA which launches unique products created by makers with stories to tell.

Gary is known for his sense of humour and in his acceptance speech when receiving his New Start Business Award, he referred to his business journey as having been “horrendous at times.”  Whilst a slightly tongue in cheek comment, his journey has been longer and more fraught with challenges than most.  As with any product, but most especially one which faces such stringent safety standards, the development of CarGo seat has been something of a rollercoaster.  During testing in the USA, one of their pre-production units failed – an expensive error which cost $15,000 to rectify and delayed European testing.

Gary lives by the mantra “Never give up.”  It is this resilience that has taken him to where he is today, with CarGo seats on sale in the US.