It is graduation time—school is out for the summer. While this might be true for most high schoolers, it is not necessarily true for all. A Brookfield High School senior, Ryan Rist, has just launched his Kickstarter campaign that doubles as an entrepreneurial venture and means to satisfy his senior capstone course. Yes, Rist is graduating from high school and will soon enroll in college, but the project that began as part of his high school curriculum could soon be extending itself well into college and beyond.
Within two hours of launching his campaign, Rist Custom Coasters met its modest goal of $500, and with an additional 30 days to go the potential could be sizeable. Rist has already gathered media attention from various blogs and news outlets concerning his crowdfunding campaign (see Fox News interview) and is working hard to further spread the word.
Rist Custom Coasters are circular absorbent discs fitted in a hard plastic base. The absorbency is to protect against condensation or minor spills while the plastic liner retains the sponged moisture. These liners are offered in 12 colors. The coaster pads can also be a solid color. “I saw a problem…I didn’t like condensation on the table and I thought that normal coasters were boring”, explained Rist. The prototype was created using the school’s 3-D printer. From there Rist created a master copy, fine-tuned it on a lathe, enveloped it in liquid rubber and now has the Rist Custom Coaster mold.
Apart from the color combinations, the Rist Custom Coaster can be further personalized with any image, photo, logo, font, etc. For $30 you can create four of your very own Rist Custom Coasters.
Rist was introduced to crowdfunding a few years back when his dad purchased a wallet for him from Kickstarter. Since then he has been perusing projects on the site and to date has backed more than 25. It was not until this year that Rist was able to launch his own campaign, complying with Kickstarter’s minimum age requirement of 18.
When I initially spoke with Rist a few months back about the campaign he was focused on the academic requirements of the project. When we touched base this week—after a successful launch—he sees some of the potential that this product can have well beyond satisfying academic requirements. “I want to take this as far as it will go”, said Rist. When asked how he was marketing the product, especially to classmates Rist replied, “Teenagers are not really in the market for coasters, but their parents are.” Soon Rist will be attending college where there will be a market for coasters especially customized with school colors and mascots.
We love this idea because it is simple and customizable (relevant to a large base). He also made an excellent Freshpreneur Rist Custom Coaster for us as seen in his Kickstarter videos. Help this young entrepreneur with a POP by backing the Rist Custom Coaster.
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