Producing world-class beers and ciders using local ingredients in Hawai'i County.Ola Brew Co. is here, and they want to share their locally sourced and brewed craft beers and ciders with the Hawaii County community. Created by the same people that brought you Hawaiian Ola, the energy drink brand, they plan on using their proven track record with beverages to help grow Ola Brew into Hawaii’s brewery. For example, they already have relationships with 422 partners, such as Whole Foods, Safeway, and 7-Eleven, and they plan on leveraging those relationships for Ola Brew. They plan on being the first to bring production scale, locally sourced, craft cider to Hawaii, and so far, they’ve raised over $900,000 for the necessary equipment and facilities. Their brewmaster has won multiple gold medals, and they’ve already partnered with local chefs and farmers for sourcing and pairing in their taproom. Plus, it’s clear that people want them to succeed, as they raised almost $500,000 on Wefunder in May 2017 from just 387 investors.
Alleviating poverty in Ghana with handcrafting footwear.Kwame Baah Shoes is here to make a difference. Their mission is to “alleviate poverty by providing sustainable, economically just employment for skilled artisans in Ghana,” and that is exactly what they’re doing. Kwame Baah shoes are stylish, funky, and fresh, blending contemporary design with traditional Ghanaian fabrics, all while providing Ghana men and women with a strong job, living wage, and skill set. So far, Kwame has experienced an 11.25% profit growth YoY from 2015-2017; they’ve registered more than $135,000 in sales in just 2017; and they’ve secured a wholesale account with Free People. The founder, George Kwame Baah, grew up in impoverished conditions in Ghana, so he understands how much impact his company is having -- and can continue to have.
Changing the world by improving the fuel efficiency of traditional motors.Vela Motor Company is here to rethink the traditional internal combustion engine (ICE). They’ve redesigned the position of the crankshaft, and as a result, they’ve created a patented gas engine motor that is 15% more fuel efficient than any other motor in the world. Their ultimate goal is to reduce 10% of the amount of carbon emission released into the atmosphere by a traditional ICE. This reduction would lead to a savings of more than 1 billion tons of CO2! So far, they have patents issued in the US and other countries, and they’ve bootstrapped a working prototype. Vela previously received a $50,000 grant for testing from the Department of Energy, and they have a conditional licensing agreement in place with Fiat for $200M once their testing cycle is complete. This round of funding is to complete third-party testing to ensure trust and functionality, and, once that is complete, they will begin licensing and manufacturing deals.
Intelligent Incident Response for IT Ops with AI and Real-Time CollaborationmartQED is the “IT doctor” your team has been looking for. Their product expedites problem-solving for IT Ops and DevOps teams and data centers and acts as a one-stop shop for DevOps and IT problem resolutions. smartQED is a visual, self-learning workbench that utilizes AI intelligence and machine learning to guide users to solutions. It also streamlines incident responses and decreases response time, enabling “...collaborative investigations through self-learning visual tools for systematic Cause Analysis, making it easy for teams to jointly resolve problems while learning from user actions.” So far, they’ve closed their first revenue from their paid pilot with a global telecom company; they built and released a Beta product that is being used for customer pilots; and their team is comprised of world-class engineering experts, advisors, and business leaders.
Eliminate Snoring With a Simple Mouthguard.ZYPPAH is here to help with your snore. It’s an oral hybrid mouthpiece that combines a patented tongue strap, called the Tongue Elastic, with traditional mouthpiece technology. The strap supports the tongue and keeps it from falling backwards into your airway, while the traditional technology brings the jaw forward. The best part? For the majority of clients, it’s not only comfortable, but it completely eliminates snoring -- even within the first night of use! ZYPPAH is the only hybrid mouthpiece of its kind in the US, and right now they are available to buy online. However, ZYPPAH anticipates FDA approval for over-the-counter sales in the next year, which means the produce would be sold in places like Amazon, Costco, and Walmart. So far, the company’s sold almost 140,000 units and collected $13M in revenue in 2017, and they have more than 20,000 unique visitors to their site per week. The device is made entirely in the US for $18 and retails for $100.
One of Austin's oldest craft beers is now in cans at grocery stores.North by Northwest (NxNW) Restaurant & Brewery is one of Austin’s oldest craft beers -- and now they want to can their brews and bring them to you in stores. NxNW was founded in Austin, TX in 1999, and they opened a second location in 2014. Those two brewpubs have totaled over $7.5M, with over 1,8000 barrels of beer sold, and they attribute their success to their fun, family atmosphere, delicious craft brews made on-site, and tasty foods. Now, they want to create that culture in more places by offering their NxNW beers in cans so people across Texas can imbibe in their refreshing brews. Their plan is to start with three styles of beer in a number of core Austin stores, then add in restaurants, liquor stores, and convenience stores across the state. NxNW has already mandated for placement in 39 H-E-B stores in the Austin area, and Specs Liquor Stores have also approved their beers. Their Austin distributor is Brown Distributing, who manages over 60 beverage brands, including 25 craft beers.
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