Even as a kid, I was starting businesses, I was creating and doing and inventing. I had a little notebook I carried around and wrote down all of my ideas in. I was a nerdy, strong willed, blonde haired and crooked teeth, little spitfire-- to sum it up. I am sure that somewhere deep in the internet you can find countless email addresses and websites I made on the old desktop computer my parents let me set up in my room. As I grew up, I dialed back that side of myself which put out that fire of passion and excitement about life that was always in me. However, one day in the summer of 2018, I was having lunch with my dad when we started brainstorming and drawing on napkins, and I felt a spark inside me.
You can imagine my excitement when I went to my first university class, and they encouraged us to pitch a 10 second business idea to the class. I thought of the napkins. I had an idea to make a new kind of cup that wouldn’t pollute our world so devastatingly like the ones my dad and I got that day at lunch. I gathered people that day and in the next class but no one wanted to keep working on it, that was, until I met Kayle. Together, we applied for Pioneering Summer, an accelerator for student led ventures at DU.
Kayle was willing to do something crazy and not go home for the summer to follow this dream alongside me, if on the off chance we got into the program. She is an engineering major who is passionate about sustainability, and from everything I knew about her, she gave her all in everything she did. By some perseverance, luck, and God, we got into Pioneering Summer. When everyone went home for the summer, we stayed. Together, and with the support of Project X-ITE, we have built OneKindCup, a product that combines a cup, straw, and lid as one piece. OneKindCup replaces the traditional disposable soft drink cup with a completely biodegradable in soil without facility alternative. It’s a completely unique, patent pending, design made out of an innovative new-to-market material.
Over the summer, we’ve built a prototype, business, and partnership, and are working to raise capital to build and modify machines to manufacture our cup be able to make sales. We try like hell every day because we believe in the difference we could make in saving the world from plastic pollution. We are grateful for the opportunity to be here and get to do the thing that sets us on fire every day. Being an entrepreneur and a student is not easy for either of us, and some days it doesn’t even feel worth it, but then I remember the blonde haired, crooked teeth little girl I was, and decide that I’m gonna become the person she thought I could be.
Learn more about OneKindCup at www.onekindcup.com.
Hear more about Lauren's experience at the Pioneering Summer Demo Day on Sept. 17th at 2 p.m.. Add it to my schedule.