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Amy

Author Archives: Amy

Marketing Communications Associate at The Grommet

  • Kick-Ass Crowdfunding Campaigns for May

    It's almost summer here at The Grommet and we're gearing up for some really exciting things happening in the next few months. One of our favorite things to do each month is get to know some great crowdfunding campaigns and decide which we think have good potential for long term success.

    We're starting the season off right by investing is some majorly kick-ass crowdfunding projects. We've done a lot of research for this month's products and decided on these to name just a few. We can't wait to see them come to market and hope you are just as excited. Do you support projects on Kickstarter and Indiegogo that you think might make it big? Follow along with our series here to see which projects we invest in monthly.

     

    Kuli Kuli bars Kuli Kuli

    Kuli Kuli

    $45,324 raised of $50,000

    Days to go: 16

    While in the peace corp, the founder of Kuli Kuli discovered a nutritious plant made in West Africa called Moringa. It helped her to fight off the possibility of malnutrition and she decided to bring the plants benefits to the U.S. So she started a company to produce these gluten free, raw snack bars called Kuli Kuli. She now needs your help to get these bars into production.

     

    guitar for iphone JamStik

    JamStik

    $143,430 raised of $100,000

    Days to go: 6

    JamStik  is a modern-day, technology-charged version of the traditional guitar. When learning to play, you typically need to worry about tuning, disturbing neighbors and transporting the heavy instrument. This is a super-cool, portable digital guitar that connects to an iPad or iPhone. It uses light to scan a players fingers as they press strings, then sends that information over to a smart phone in real time. The smart phone helps you make cool music and helps you to learn more quickly.

    internet, Africa Brck

    Brck

    $106,544 raised of $125,000

    Days to go: 13

    The idea behind Brck was created out of a local problem in rural Kenya: providing reliable internet connectivity where power and electricity are not always present. Brck is easy to use and can connect to the internet through an ethernet, cellular data or open wifi channels. It's portable, easy to set up, can support up to 20 devices and is able to provide wifi for multiple rooms. The team likes to say "If it works in Africa, it will work anywhere."

     

    iphone stand, iphone tripod Keyprop

    Keyprop

    $17,552 raised of $30,000

    Days to go: 9

    Keyprop dubs itself as "the world's smallest tripod and stand". Yet we don't think that phrase does it justice. Keyprop is a smart way to keep your keys and your phone together, while at the same time creating a handy stand for your smart device. It's also pretty cool looking! Want to take a picture and use a timer to take the picture from afar? Now you can. Want to sit back, relax and watch a video on your phone without holding it? Now you can. You can even adjust the angle of the stand by propping it higher or lower.

     

    car art, home decor Blackprints

    Blackprints

    $69,617 raised of $50,000

    Days to go: 30

    Founder of Blackprints, Sabrina Chun, loves cars. She loves driving them, admiring them and thinking about how each is different. That's why she's created Blackprints, an inverse black and white illustration of beloved classic cars, in print form . These prints are sleek, beautiful and will look great in your home or office; plus they'll help you day dream about your favorite car.

     Which campaign is your favorite? 

  • How To Pitch Your Product Like A Pro

    product launch
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    Our Discovery team spends many hours per week looking at potential Grommets. In fact, we get more than 100 product submissions per week! It's then our job to test the products, ask questions and ultimately decide if they are "Grommet-worthy". We have high standards, as we only choose and sell the best. Yet there are many products out there that could be FANTASTIC future Grommets, if only they had a little help with how to pitch our team. We've decided to divulge some (not-so-secretive) information that anyone should have in their front pocket when they're getting ready to launch their product to the world. Another quick-tip: Watch the show on ABC called Shark Tank. While our team isn't exactly like the mean sharks on the show, we have had several products that have been on the show as well. They know a thing or two about pitching their company!

    1. Make your product not only presentable, make it SHINE: Be able to define its value - quickly! When you're pitching your product, make sure you've got your elevator pitch, or 30-1 minute spiel down pat. Talk about the problem/solution. Show it in action if you need to. What makes this product different from competitors? How is it innovative? You're looking for the light bulb look - "oh I get it now" should be written across the person's face. Put your best sample forward or make sure that prototype shines!

    2. Be able to articulate your growth strategy: Help us help you. Taking an honest look at your strengths and weaknesses and how you plan on maneuvering those areas will communicate to investors (or Grommet!) that your company can thrive. We're here to advise you on your growth, but need to understand your overall goals for your company.

    3. Know your numbers. Be ready to discuss your pricing and distribution goals and know what will work for you. How fast can you move inventory? How quickly can your team make more? Knowing where you stand in relation to your goals will inform your conversations with potential partners.

    4. Know your audience, and do a little research to understand theirs. For example, the Grommet has an audience of early adopters, ready to provide product feedback and purchase your product. What will they value about your product and your story? Know who will be purchasing your your product and adjust accordingly.

    5. Be yourself. Who you are is important to your company. Don't change who you are because you think that's what a company wants to see. Good people doing interesting work really does make a difference for us!

    What other tips do you have on how to pitch like a pro? 

  • An Art Walk in Boston

    This past Sunday, some Grommet team members ventured into Boston to stroll through the "Public Art Walk" where you have the ability to walk freely in and out of people's personal art studios and exhibitions.  There were many beautiful pieces of art, rich with colors, textures and stories. One exhibit stood out to us, as it touched on the important subject of education and the artist did a particularly good job of detailing his passion for the issue throughout his exhibit. Above the Standard is an art exhibit created by Boston Public School Teacher, Ari Hauben. His solo art show depicts the detrimental effects of the increasingly standardized and mechanized worlds of education and society. Read more about Ari and his exhibit here and view some of his most beautiful pieces below.

    Ari Hauben | Art walk Boston

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  • 7 Fun Facts from THRIVE Farmers Coffee

    Thrive Coffee 3 Generations of Coffee Farmers

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    Recently, The Grommet launched TRIVE Farmers Coffee, a truly disruptive company that offers a new option for farmers to earn 5 - 10 times more than Fair Trade. They helped to educate us about a massively popular beverage that many of us consume every day, yet ironically  know such little about. We recently caught up with Christine Macrenaris, Director of Marketing & Communications of THRIVE Farmers coffee and we got carried away talking coffee (of course!). She shared some fun facts about coffee that we found fascinating.

    Read on to discover 7 Fun Facts about coffee that you may not have known!

     

      1. Coffee is actually NOT a bean, but comes from a fruit! It is grown on a tree or bush that produces cherry fruit. The bean is the seed inside the cherry.
      2. Coffee is the world’s second most popular drink after water.
      3. Years ago, in Turkey, if the husband did not provide their wife with enough coffee, it was grounds for divorce.
      4. It takes one tree to make one roasted pound of specialty coffee and each berry has to be hand-picked.
      5. There are 4,000 roasted beans in one pound of coffee. (Source: Rob Tuttle, Barista and Thrive Farmers VP of Operations)
      6. The price of a tall latte in America is a day’s wage for many of the farmers who harvest it in South America.
      7. What makes Thrive Farmers unique is that they are selling coffee directly to the consumer, providing world class coffee and giving farmers the opportunity to THRIVE in an industry where many farmers are unable to survive.

     sources for fun facts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6,

    How many of these facts did you know about your favorite morning drink?  

  • We've got some Makers of our Own in the House!

    If you're an enthusiastic follower of The Grommet, you'll know that we live and breathe for the makers in the world. They are our lifeblood. Without them and without the beauty of the craft and ability to "make" we wouldn't be who we are today. We spend so much time working with our partners who are some of the best makers out there, that our team often forgets to look at and appreciate all the wonderful makers we have in our very own office. Today we decided to do just that. Our team is growing by the day and wer'e filled with smart, creative and wonderfully talented makers of our own. Check them out below and give them a shout out. They deserve it.

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  • EXTRA INNINGS: Updates from MAX'IS Creations

    This week, we're continuing our updates from some of our teams at our Product Pitch competition in March. We love watching how these companies are evolving and tracking their success!

     

    Did you have a favorite team at our Product Pitch event and can’t wait to see what they’re up to? Follow along here and watch their progress.

     

    Below you’ll see some great news from the MAX'IS Creations team.

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     Thanks for the updates, Jennifer (Jennifer is Max's mom)!

  • Recent Press: Good Housekeeping, ABC News, The Daily Beast and More...

    As exciting as it is to launch a new product here on The Grommet, for us, it gets even better when we get to see how the world reacts to these innovative ideas and passionate entrepreneurial stories. For our partners, a Grommet launch is just the beginning of some well deserved attention.

    Here’s the most recent press for our Grommet partners:

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  • A 13 year old entrepreneur and role model: Meet Maya Shea Penn

    Maya's ideas, Daily Grommet

    Maya Shea Penn

    At Daily Grommet we like to highlight smart, accomplished entrepreneurs. When we came across 13 year old, Maya Shea Penn we were simply amazed at what she's accomplished so far in life. Here are just a few of her achievements to date:
  • EXTRA INNINGS: Updates from MAX'IS Creations

    This week we kicked off a new series here on the blog called EXTRA INNINGS.  Did you have a favorite team at our Product Pitch event and can’t wait to see what they’re up to? Follow along here and watch their progress. Below you’ll see some great news from the MAX'IS Creations team.
    ................

     Thanks for the updates, Jennifer (Jennifer is Max's mom)!

    product launch, MAX'IS Creations

    Max and his brother taking in the sights at Fenway Park at the product pitch competition.

     

     

    EXTRA INNINGS: MAX'IS Creations

    Greetings from MAX’IS Creations.  It has been a whirlwind few weeks since being named a finalist in the Product Pitch at Fenway and winning the popular community vote.

    A larger cause....

    When we heard that Daily Grommet was partnering with Indiegogo to launch crowd-funding campaigns on behalf of the finalists, we wanted to use the opportunity to do more than simply raise money for MAX’IS Creations.  So we created a campaign that allowed Max to not only foster interest in his patent pending “Mug with a Hoop” but also to raise awareness and support for the upside of dyslexia.  The support for Max’s campaign in the dyslexia world has been very rewarding.  His campaign was even tweeted about by the British Dyslexia Association and others involved in the dyslexia cause.  Just the other day the link between creativity and dyslexia was featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.  We think that Max seeing a basketball hoop where others just see a mug is a great example of one of the tenets of the Carroll School:  “People with dyslexia see the world differently, isn’t the world lucky that they do.”  And today, Max received a priceless email from a 27 year old CEO, who himself is dyslexic, offering both encouragement and business support to Max as he proceeds with his new venture.

    product launch, MAX'IS Creations

    Max promoting his product at Brueggers Bagels Bakery

     

    Lest this be mistaken for a purely philanthropic effort, this 8-year entrepreneur is focused on selling his product and raising capital.  Yesterday morning, Max woke up at the crack of dawn and headed to Bruegger’s bakery in Weston Center to showcase his “Mug With a Hoop.”  He made some presales, collected some donations, and sent many home with a flyer telling them how to log into Indiegogo to contribute to his online campaign.  He also engaged in some friendly competition with Daily Grommet alumna Wendy Chandor’s boys Peter and Ryan who were raising funds for their baseball team!

     

    product launch, MAX'IS Creations

    Max meets with lawyers about patents (and has some fun!)

    Other highlights this week were sitting down with our Patent team, Travis Johnson of Ascentage Law and Cynthia Gilbert of Hyperion Law at the Cambridge Innovation Center.  In addition to patent strategy, Max learned that lawyers could also have fun with his invention!

     

    Our first few weeks since the event have also held some struggles.  We are working hard to find lower cost manufacturing options in the United States and are aware of the difficulties that go along with that. We hope to have some good news in this area soon!

     

    product pitch, MAX'IS Creations

    Max runs to the computer after school to check on his Indiegogo campaign!

    Even with ups and downs, Max has his sights set on the big picture: selling his mugs and generating interest for his venture.  He will be showcasing his prototype and selling his mugs at the upcoming Rich Altman Sports Memorabilia Convention in Wilmington next weekend.  He even has autographs (of his prototype) lined up with Celtics Legends:  Bill Walton, Bill Russell, John Havlicek and Sam Jones!  Although Max is the first to remind people that he is too young to have actually seen them play!

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    More from MAX'IS Creations team soon. Be sure to catch all of the EXTRA INNINGS here.

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  • EXTRA INNINGS: Updates from Frogglez Goggles!

     

     

     

    Frogglez Goggles, product pitch

    Christian and the TV crew!

     

    EXTRA INNINGS: FROGGLEZ 
    Last week we gave you an update from our product pitch winner, THINX on Boston.com.

     

    Beginning this week, we're going to start bringing you updates from more of our teams right here on the blog. Did you have a favorite team at the event and can't wait to see what they're up to? Follow along here and watch their progress. Below you'll see some great news from the Frogglez Goggles team.

     

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