Utah Entrepreneurs Raise $170k in Kickstarter Campaign for New, Innovative Straw
Apr 2, 2019, 9:56 PM | Updated: 10:35 pm
OREM, Utah – It all started with the idea that reusable straws don’t always get totally clean, even after going through the dishwasher.
Rain Straw founders, Jeremy Smith and Sean Watkins, sent a camera down a straw to discover green, flaky bits stuck inside.
“It’s really gross,” Smith said.
Smith and Watkins started brainstorming and came up with a new idea. A straw that comes apart, allowing the drinker to see inside and easily clean every surface.
“It’s super simple but it’s genius,” Watkins said.
Instead of going straight to manufacturing, they decided to launch on Kickstarter to see if their genius idea had support with potential shoppers.
They had an original goal to raise $12,000. That goal was passed in the first day and now, they’ve raised more than $170,000 in less than a month. The campaign is open until April 5.
“I love it, I’m excited,” Watkins said.
More and more places are banning disposable straws. California banned all straws last year and there’s been an increase in awareness on the amount of trash that ends up in our oceans.
Recently, dead whales have been found with trash inside them. Reusable straws are gaining in popularity even if they’re small way to help the planet.
“Those little things will add up,” Watkins said.
The added step of being cleanable is something Watkins and Smith hope increases people’s excitement about the product.
They’ve been working to create a way to test their straws to make sure that they meet the standards of normal straws. Testing equipment built by Smith will be used to ensure each Rain Straw meets those expectations and doesn’t allow air bubbles to filter into a drink.
“If you want to drink a milk shake, you want to be able to drink the milk shake,” Smith said.
The entrepreneurs plan to start manufacturing in the next couple of weeks.
Consumers should be able to buy the straws later this year. Smith and Watkins say this is just their first product idea that’s not just reusable, but also easy to clean.