In the world where iced tea is synonymous with a drink that is heavily added with sugar, Kristina Tsipouras and Niari Keverian decided to give people a healthier option. Kristina and Niari started ZOOS Greek Iced Teas.
The inspiration behind the company comes from Kristinas many summer trips to Greece to visit family and drinking many cups of their traditional mountain iced teas. When the Greek Yogurt phase hit America, Kristina realized there were so many healthy hidden gems not introduced into the market – one being the healthy mountain iced tea she would always drink in Greece. So Kristina quit her job as a wedding planner, moved back home with her parents, teamed up with Niari, and ZOOS Greek Iced Teas was formed.
Like many of the startups we highlighted in Startup Spotlight, many of them spend most of their time in the office, but Kristina and Niari try to spend their free time doing yoga or teaching dance to escape the startup life.
When asked which of their fellow finalist is their favorite, Kristina and Niari have different answers. For Kristina, ArtLifting is a startup she finds truly inspirational because of their want to help others in need. For Niari, Drinkwell is the startup of choice: It is an interesting solution to a real world problem.
Ustraap is a ultrasonic strap that is used as a navigation tool for blind people. The strap can detect objects up to 13 ft around towards the direction of where the user is pointing. Marco Trujillo, the companys CEO, said the beginnings of the company were actually quite funny. Him and his co-founder always seemed to be developing stuff. One of his projects they were trying to develop at the time was an electroshock machine that included a proximity detector.
They couldnt reach the wall because of the constant shock and that was when an idea hit them: they can use this as a foundation to develop a navigation tool for the blind. For Marco Trujillo and his co-founder, developing a technology in order to enhance someones life is truly inspirational, especially after their experiences in social services during the many visits at an institute for they blind hey visited during their product development stage.
Although Marco and his team spend ample amounts of time in the office, they do find time to enjoy activities outside of the office such as longboarding all over Boston! Ustraap members also find enjoyment in bonding with their fellow MassChallenge finalists. G Therapeutics, EVE Technologies, Otto, D-Orbit, and Mindlift are examples of startups they have become close with over the course of 4 months.
Dimples, Inc. was founded by the mother and son duo, Mem and John Miller. They’re passionate about cutting down printing costs. They drew their inspiration from working on a project that involved using a lot of ink – something that was a costly burden. They began brainstorming and came up with the idea of developing a software that helps reduce printing costs. The startup really started to get going when Mem and John were telling a hiking group about their idea. Within the group, a hiker who was a newspaper editor at the time wanted to help and POOF! Dimples Inc was born.
On days in which they are not working hard in the office, Mem and John are avid hikers. They also enjoy sculling on lakes, downhill skiing, biking and reading.
Working within MassChallenges accelerator program, Dimples have gotten to meet many different startups from a variety of disciplines. For Dimples Inc., they especially liked Neon Mobile and G-Therapeutics.