What does your business do?
We've taken the bottle cage from a bicycle, added some electro mechanical know-how and created a chilled bottle holder. In a sense we have a portable refrigerator on wheels! This innovative device is capable of chilling different bottles so that you can chill your bottle on the fly, whether the bottle is made of plastic or metal, and regardless of whether you¡¯re chilling water, Gatorade or any other drink.
When and why did you start the biz?
Conceptually, the project started 2 1/2 years ago, but as a company since October 2018.
As to why, well, there are many reasons (e.g. need for change, desire to do something on my own and be more creative, etc.) but the main reason, and the one that continues driving me to this day is my sons. Simply put, I want to inspire them to chase their own dreams.
How Many People are in your Company?
1 multifunctional yet dysfunctional founder.
Where's your office?
I essentially have two. One is at my normal workplace, which is an office, which is stone's throw away from being able to have a swim in the sea during my lunch break. There I squeeze in an hour or two after work (shhh..sometimes during work), and the other place is my company's HQ, otherwise known as my study at home where I alternate between having to listen to the washing machine and children running around.
What's the toughest part of running your biz?
The easy answer is having to do all the things that you want and need to with no financing, which I suppose forces you to be creative and resourceful. However, at present the toughest part is trying to do what you want to do while not having the time to do so. By that I mean it's not easy getting a business off the ground while you're still working full time, in addition to other commitments.
What's the most fun part?
To be honest, I'm enjoying everything that has to do with my project, as it mine. There is a certain pride and satisfaction in knowing you are taking a concept and turning it into something tangible. So, by the same token, I'm enjoying learning about engineering, manufacturing, financing, IP, crowdfunding and pretty much everything in between.
Anything you would have done differently?
The only thing that really comes to mind, is that I wish would have started sooner.
What's next on the horizon for your biz?
I have version 2.0 of my prototype ready next month. After some testing of that, should be going to market via crowdfunding before the end of the year, and after that it's world domination.
What advice do you have for others?
That's a tricky one as I don't feel like I'm in a position where I can give advice as I haven't reached what I would consider an acceptable level of success. That being said, you'll hear from many sources about what to do, and I think the starting point for all of them is to just do it. You'll never really know how far you'll go until you try. How far can I go? I don¡¯t know but I've already come a long way...I¡¯m reinventing how to burn the candle, redefining bootstrapping, reassessing my business plan, re-designing and re-optimizing my prototype...but I'm enjoying all of it! No job has ever given me such satisfaction, and even if it fails, what I have already no one can take away.
How do you use Idea Cafe to help your biz?
It's a great centralized resource center for all the tidbits related to starting and running a business. It helps keep me sane by giving me a reality check, in that when I think I'm steering off course I'm able to see what I need to do, see what's out there, get feedback and benchmark accordingly.
School (where, still in school, degree)?
BA- ECU; MBA- Henley Management College
Prior jobs or business?
No prior businesses but have worked in a variety of things including factory, restaurant, hotel, office environment...have even sold strawberries and watermelons from the back of a pickup.
What are your pets' names?
Haven't had a pet in years but last one was a cat named Seebe.
Do any of these pets help with your biz?
Is there any one person or event in your life that led
you to go into business for yourself?
My 8 and 9 year old sons. As any parent will tell you, you'll do anything to protect your children and give them a better future. And that's exactly what I'm trying to do.
Anyone you publicly want to thank?
I suppose it's only polite I say hello to my mother and my wife.
La Casita, Triq Wied Ghollieqa
San Gwann, MN SGN 4463