We make the perfect cup of coffee better! How do we accomplish this goal?
iGreenPod is a network of artisan roasters in Portland, Oregon.
We offer a biodegradable coffee pod compatible with single-serve coffee machines (Keurig models, for example).
iGreenPod uses fresh, artisan coffee roasted in Portland. We focus on connecting you to artisan roasters while providing a literally down-to-earth product.
We connect you to delicious coffee from our network of coffee roasters in Portland. Get a taste of the northwest every day!
We offer a 100 percent biodegradable coffee pod that fits machines just like Keurig’s K-Cup. Our product, moreover, can go directly into compost. The cup itself will properly biodegrade in compost within 90 days. We use recycled materials safe for us and the earth. Portland now has a composting bin for most homes that is picked up once a week.
The idea for this cup started at Abilene Christian University, specifically at a University Business Competition in 2012. The competition is called "Spring Board Challenge" http://www.acu.edu/academics/coba/griggscenter/springboard/ideas/index.html. There, we proposed to create a 100 percent biodegradable coffee pod for single-serve coffee machines.
Our plan was to find one of the greenest cities in America; we looked to Portland, Oregon. Portland was the perfect place to launch our coffee invention.
We also wanted to engineer our cups to be built on demand for our customers in order to give them the freshest cup of coffee possible. Our goal is to deliver truly awesome coffee on demand. We call this "just-in-time" (kanban) coffee, which is based on lean manufacturing processes. As a result, our coffee is as fresh as possible. We are also able to control our growth.
After the business competition, we had our business model and plan established, but we needed to actually build the cup and ready ourselves for production.
Kickstarter funding will allow us in part to redesign our lid. The shape is nearly complete. We will offer a second version of the cup, which will be nearly the same but with flatter lids.
We have created some initial design work and below is an illustration. This is not the final product, however.
After one year, we have designed a coffee pod which biodegrades in 90 days once placed in a compost. No plastic is used: great news for folks who want an earth-friendly solution. When we combine our earth-friendly solution with artisan coffee roasters from Portland, we end up with a truly unique, green product.
1) We plan to adjust the amount of coffee as well as the discs in the pods in order to create the perfect cup of coffee. We will accomplish these changes by adjusting both our disc-making machine and the size of the pods being created. Doing so will allow us to better control the strength of our coffee.
(2) For our second batch of cups, we plan to alter the lid, which will be flat in design. The flat surface of the lid and cup will better work with our current glue application.
We build our pods by hand and in-house. Currently, we are renting space in a commissary kitchen on the north side of Portland.
In our facility, we are able to run our coffee disc machine, which creates about 60-100 discs per minute. We then take those discs and combine them with our cups in special racks that we have engineered in-house. As of right now, according to our estimates, we are able to comfortably create and deliver 1000 cups per day to our customers.
Once our demand level grows near 1000 pods per day, we will then work with a local machine manufacturing company in Portland. This local company would allow us to create up to 24,000 pods per day. We will continue to create fresh pods, using our network of local artisan coffee roasters.
All of our cups will be then sent out via UPS three days after our customers submit their orders.
November 2013 - Launch iGreenPod - Our first round of pods will be available to the public in a limited supply. Our limits are based on our production limits, stated above, combined with our demand.
Feb 2014 - Enhance Lids - We will have our newly designed lids ready for production so that we can create our second round of pods.
May 2014 - Modified Machines - We will increase production with new machinery in order to streamline our production process.
Our solution is to create our coffee on demand. We package our coffee within three days of order and send it directly to you. We work with local artisan roasters in Portland to deliver the perfect roasted coffee bean. We recommend keeping it in a dry place.
Currently we will be offering three different roasts: light, medium, and dark roast. We plan on expanding the roasts and flavors of coffee available as our network of roasters expands.
Shawn Altman has been working with http://globalsamaritan.org/ located in Abilene, TX. Through this organization, he has met and started working with a minister in Nicaragua who is helping farmers grow coffee. In the past, many of these farmers were growing drugs while their communities were being impacted by corruption, crime, and much worse. With the minister’s help, the farmers are now growing coffee and changing the economics of the area. No longer is there crime and corruption in these villages. Buying this coffee will help to improve lives.
We are working with Rose City Roasting Company, which is a new start-up in Portland. We want to partner with Rose City and to connect with other local roasters in Portland in a similar way. We are connecting you to these artisan roasters and then connecting those roasters to places like the villages mentioned above. This builds a truly unique network of change.
1) To reate the perfect cup of coffee, using local artisan-roasted coffee.
2) To create a 100 percent biodegradable coffee pod.
3) To create a product which returns back to earth’s life cycle.
We want this cup to represent artisan roasted coffee, sustainability, and products that close the loop by returning back to nature -- ground to ground. We want to connect our communities, locally and globally.
Shawn Altman has a background in sales, web programming, and product engineering. He has the ability to work with engineers to produce and create the right CAD and engineering documents so that the product is a perfect fit. He is also able to work with companies overseas in order to import products that are required to complete the build of iGreenPod into the United States. With his understanding of software, product design, and graphics, he is able to work with a variety of teams on the project.
Jay Pollack is an inventor, an entrepreneur, and a production and management expert. He started a consulting company in 2001, and has managed several large teams. With his understanding of production, business management, and leadership, he is able to manage iGreenPod's production facility and put together a successful team who can deliver the product.
Chris Bensch is a media, marketing, and coffee connoisseur from Portland. He started out in production for a cabinet company, where he was able to streamline their process and decrease production time. Currently, he is an outdoor leader in backcountry camping, survival, white water, and sea kayaking activities. Chris is also an accomplished kayak surfer who has competed at world surf competitions in California. His passion for the outdoors has led him to develop a strong understanding of photography, video, and production. With his talents he created a kick starter called: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1929426956/the-search-for-perfect-day. His kickstarter campaign was a success. The group behind his kickstarter project is called Out Of Sight Out Of Mind at https://www.facebook.com/teamOSOM. His team has a strong sense of how plastic impacts out planet and his partnership with our green conscious company is a perfect fit.
Risks and challenges
If we have too high of a demand too soon, we will have to purchase more equipment in order to streamline our process. This is a medium risk because we have planned ahead, but we want to always be able to deliver the freshest artisan coffee we can to you.
How will we tackle this issue?
We will streamline our manufacturing process with machines and the design of the cups. We have plans in place with local manufacturing companies to assist us in scaling. These plans will allow us to create 24,000 pods per day to start. We can continue to scale as required.
The other risk we face is placing too high of a demand on our current network of roasters. We have plans in place to expand our network of roasters so that we can offer you more options, but also to reduce the demand on any one roaster so that we can scale the business operations together while growing as a community.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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