NightCap was invented by then 16-year-old Shirah Benarde from West Palm Beach, Florida. The idea came to her in a dream after hearing about her friends that went off to college and experienced the horrors of drink spiking. Fortunately, her friends were okay, but Shirah was determined to come up with a pragmatic solution to this problem that could protect her friends and herself when they went off to college. She also wanted to make sure that the product would be something that girls would feel comfortable using. The next morning, she went to her mother’s closet, grabbed her pantyhose, cut them up, and attached them to a scrunchie to create the first prototype.
Her brother, Michael, 21 at the time, came home from college for the summer and saw the prototype sitting on the table. As someone who had been living on a college campus for four years, he understood how prevalent this problem was — and is. Knowing that there was no product on the market that had been adopted at scale, Michael saw a huge market for this due to its unbeatable convenience and reusability. Together, Michael and Shirah took action and spent the next 6 months working to bring NightCap from concept to reality.
Michael is a recent graduate of Florida State University and Is now working on NightCap full time. Shirah plans to work on NightCap while attending the University of Tampa beginning in 2021.
Since launching, NightCap has won multiple awards including Florida State University’s InNOLEvation Challenge, Tallahassee Startup Week’s Annual Pitch Competition, FSU’s Turkey Tank, and FSU’s Jim Moran Micro Grant. NightCap also has been featured on the Fox Business Network, and in USA Today, among many other media outlets. Michael and Shirah believe that NightCap can save lives and are working diligently to get it to make it available to women around the world.
NightCap can deter drink spiking in many instances but cannot guarantee your safety. Always buy your own drink and never leave it unattended. Drink spiking statistics sourced from alcohol.org.