Introducing tHrIVE apiART
Mavericks, meet Dustin Betz and Mike Zaengle, the winers of our Maverick 1000 “Save the Bees” startup competition, which took place last October at our 3X Multiplier Retreat in Boulder, CO. They came up with an idea for live indoor honeybee hive art for your living room. As we know, honey bees are vital to our global food system, but are also disappearing today in record numbers due to a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder: a condition where worker bees from a European honey bee colony abruptly disappear. Colony collapse disorder is significant economically because many agricultural crops worldwide are pollinated by European honey bees. It is Mike, Dustin and their team’s mission to reconnect consumers to the nature of their food system, by reeducating them through powerful & intuitive product design. In order to create a positive impact that works to address the pollinator crisis, they recognize that more beekeepers = more public awareness about the critical importance of this problem, as well as more bees & greater honey bee genetic diversity. Their team began this project by asking the question, “How can we combat CCD by making beekeeping sexy, and engaging a new generation of future beekeepers?” Their answer to this question is to use product design to create an eco-chic piece of must-have living art: a hive small enough to be easily manageable, but large enough to produce 3-5 lbs. of honey annually. They have created that product concept, modularly scalable, and with an unprecedentedly low level of required maintenance.They plan on working with after school programs and beekeepers to spread the word on the value of beekeeping.
A little more background: These guys both recently graduated from Penn State and are doing some really cool (and incredibly innovative) stuff within the world of eco-friendly, green living. They started GreenTowers LLC as an undergraduate research project addressing the global questions of food security and food access in the twenty-first century. Their focus is in urban agriculture and their goal is to reconnect people to nature and to their food by incorporating natural designs into our everyday built environment.
Yanik along with a variety of Team Green and Maverick members has been meeting with Dustin and Mike on a monthly basis, with the purpose of coaching and keeping the “business development wheel” rolling. Things are going really well. We have been able to connect them to some professional beekeepers and hive builders along with a contact at The Boys and Girls Club (to discuss implementing a bee Facet into their education program). At the rate things are going, Dustin and Mike are confident that they will be able to run a successful crowdfunding campaign and launch tHrIVE apiART by late spring/early summer of this year. We will definitely keep you updated!
Are you interested in learning more about working with a Maverick Startup? Please contact Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org.