From nitrogen-infused coffee to vending machines that sell hot java, these entrepreneurs — all made in the CSU — are disrupting a $40 billion business.
Had your morning cup of coffee yet? If you’re among the 54 percent of U.S. adults who drink coffee daily, chances are you’re already on your second or third cup, doing your part to contribute to a nearly $40 billion industry that only seems to be growing.
California State University alumni and students from business, food science and even journalism are helping to define where this business is headed. In fact, a number of entrepreneurs in the field cite their CSU campus as the place where they got their start — and where they learned to think disruptively about the beverage so many of us love.
Company: VendiBean, San Diego
Alumna: Teal Cooper (right), San Diego State; studied journalism and media studies. (Cooper runs VendiBean with her brother Tristan.)
What do you do? Teal Cooper: “VendiBean delivers freshly ground, high-quality coffee from your favorite local roasters. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, offering coffee and convenience at the touch of a button.”
Why coffee? “The idea of VendiBean was inspired by my brother, who was studying late for finals in college and realized there were no high-quality coffee options available in sight. I was studying abroad in Italy at the time and was exposed to espresso vending machines that were popular on my campus. I believed in this idea and saw a vision for the concept. Together we decided to join forces to fill a gap in an industry we passionately felt was lacking.”
How did the CSU help? “Networking and reaching out to fellow SDSU alumni has had a huge impact on where VendiBean is today. Everyone had a soft place in their heart to speak to me and give me the insight I needed to lead me in the right direction.”
What’s next? “We will have 19 machines in San Diego and one machine in Austin, Texas, by the end of August 2017. We plan on having 250 machines placed between Southern California, Dallas, and Austin, Texas, by 2020.”