Whats the best thing you have ever found off of craigslist? A used couch? Concert tickets? For Dripkit cofounder Ilana Kruger, it was fellow co-founder Kara Cohen. It started out as a simple roommate question of "Which Disney character are you and why?" Cohen's answer, the genie from Aladin, sold Kruger, who remembered that "She was the only girl who didn't pick a princess, and we knew 'that's the one!'' The two quickly bonded, and after living and working together decided to go into business together. As the Cohen and Kruger were both freelance creative professionals, it was easy to bond and they worked well together. "We immediately connected as friends, we were roommates, we were coworkers, now we are cofounders, and we have always worked really well together."
Good coffee isn't hard to come by; except when you are on the go. That's the market that Dripkit is targeting; those who want a quality cup of coffee without having to be a regular at the coffee shop. The idea for Dripkit sparked from a pretty banal routine. Kara Cohen's boyfriend was working in England. When he flew back to New York, he was carrying a jar of instant coffee. When she asked why he had brought instant coffee back from England, he responded saying, "it was my only option for coffee at work." Both Ilana and Kara instantly identified with the situation and decided to find a way to solve that problem.
Last month, Dripkit launched a successful Kickstarter campaign with the value proposition that it is the easiest way to get a great cup of coffee on-the-go. Designed to fit every coffee mug and cup, Dripkit is "a portable, single-use, mess-free way to brew the perfect cup of coffee." There isn't any measuring, calculating, or thinking involved; all you have to do is pour hot water and you get a delicious cup of craft coffee. Although there are many ways to get coffee quickly, instant coffee is never great coffee. Cohen and Kruger decided that this was their niche noting, "We felt like there were people who were creating good coffee, and people who were creating easy coffee. But there wasn't anyone that was creating good coffee that was easy and portable."
Although Kruger admits that freelancing and founding a startup share similar demands, such as being your own boss and close attention to time management. The difference is in the drive. "When it's you just trying to make this one thing happen, I know for the both of us, we've never felt as energized or as inspired in our entire lives."
Dripkit is focused on not only providing quality easy coffee, but also providing a product that is environmentally friendly. A drawback from single use coffee systems can be their environmental impact. Keurig pods can take 500 years to biodegrade. Ilana Kruger couldn't create a product with that negative of an environmental impact saying, "I felt very adamantly that if I were to create something new that it should be gone by the time I'm gone." Not only is Dripkit environmentally friendly, Kruger and Cohen also make sure they get their coffee beans from farmers who are paid fair wages. The two co-founders traveled to the co-op in Antigua where their beans are sourced to ensure that the working conditions were fair and that the farmers were being paid a living wage.
Looking to the future, Dripkit aspires to be a medium for small coffee roasters to get their product to market. Currently, there is no affordable way for small roasters to get their product out to the masses while still being able to afford to keep their doors open. Eventually Kruger and Cohen want Dripkit to be a household name where you can buy your favorite coffee in a Dripkit packet, just like the Keurig individual servings from Dunkin Donuts or Green Mountain Coffee. "We want to do for craft coffee what Keurig has done for large scale consumer coffee" said Kruger.
Guest post by Garrett Dvorkin