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Geocup – The hot cup w/dual cool zones & wheel of drink ports

Geocup is a paper hot cup to-go that minimizes paper use optimally insulated by dual cool zones topped by a wheel of safety sip ports

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Idea Summary

Geocup is a paper hot cup to-go that minimizes paper use without sacrificing comfort or safety and is optimally insulated by dual cool zones, topped by a wheel of safety sip ports, composed of forest-

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)

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Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

Geocup maintains the standard “one alignment” between user and package.  A double-cup user may hold the cup anywhere yet must align drink opening with mouth.  To minimize insulating paper, the Geocup user first aligns fingers with cool zones and drinks from any of the self-aligning 8 drink ports.

Geocup provides diametrical insulating strips, or cool zones, for thumb and fingers–at 75% less paper than double-cupping.  The cool zones provide strength and insulation only where it is needed, thus reducing overall mass of the paper cup.  Geocup’s brown cup and cool zones are made of totally chlorine-free fiber with a high recycled content and coated with a clay aqueous moisture barrier.  Geocup’s plastic lid is universally sized for S, M & L cups and opens manually to contain beverage overflow.  The lid features multiple drink ports for 360º convenience and all ports open to form an internal splash guard. Full production run of Geocup requires a new set of tools for two primary forming machines (PFM) to form 12, 16 and 20 oz. sizes. Full production run of Geocup requires either a new ancillary machine or PFM operation to attach insulating strips.  By means of ancillary machine, strip blanks are attached with cold glue to sidewall blanks prior to forming. By means of PFM operation, strip blanks are attached with cold glue to sidewall after conical forming.  High-speed thermo-forming of Geocup’s plastic lid requires a new set of interchangeable dies.

This solution addresses which of the following:

  • Hot Cup Only

How is your concept recoverable?

Geocup’s design trajectory aims for 100 percent decomposable. To start, Geocup1 will be roughly 95 percent paper fiber and 5 percent plastic film. Specifically, its moisture-resistant coating on the cup’s inside face is low-density polyethylene film–a low-impact plastic–which will evolve to an advanced aqueous clay coating. Geocup’s plastic lid is thermo-formed polystyrene sheeting–a high-impact plastic –which will evolve to a 2-ply, all-paper lid in Geocup2. All sidewall printing will use non-toxic inks. Geocup proposes a new fiber strategy for paper cups: 100 percent decomposable, forest-free fiber blends. The target mix for these alternative fiber blends is 50 percent post-consumer recycled fiber (mostly short, stiff fibers) and 50 percent non-wood and/or “tree farm” fibers (mostly long, strong fibers). Three perceived barriers to commercial acceptance of these fiber blends are performance, machinability and FDA approval. Already, progressive paper converters, like Jefferson

How have you incorporated additional sustainability attributes (beyond recoverability) into your solution?

The service cycle of a to-go cup is fifteen, thirty, maybe sixty minutes–then it is tossed away. A commuter mug is used many times over–its use-life is weeks, months, maybe years before its dumped. Service cycles are divided into the modes of durable and decomposable (formerly disposable). Durable items may be made from synthetic-stocks––non-renewable resources altered by multiple-step benign chemistry. Decomposable items may only be made from Earth-stocks––renewable resources altered by sin

What regions do you plan to address with your solution (and how will you accomplish this)?

In order to gain market exposure, Geocup’s test market prototype will be introduced via a “javaroots campaign”. Geocup’s Javaroots Campaign will target two robust marketing regions familiar with specialty coffees: Pacific and Northeast. In 1997, coffee sales for each region peaked at $4.4B and $3.5B respectively. In order to gain user feedback, GeoCup’s Javaroots Campaign will target 8 to 10 specialty coffee retailers on each coast –with 10 storefronts or less–located in vibrant, bohemian urb

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

The segment of American culture operating on the leading edge of cultural change are the Cultural Creatives (CC). A survey by the Fetzer Intitute estimates their numbers at 23.6% or 1 in 4 adults. The broadest issues shared by all CC’s are centered on ecological sustainability. The demographic profile of the CC’s is primarily middle to upper-income level, more educated than the other subcultures with 30% college graduates, and a median age of 42. When a potential user spies a Geocup, they notice its three prominent design features: 8-port lid, dual cool zones and brown paper color. Geocup’s 8-port lid self-aligns with the dual cool zones when placed on cup. Any drink port, when depress

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Prototyping

What are the biggest challenges you are facing today? What are existing gaps in your solution?

Geocup’s biggest challenge to date is scaling up production of package. It may be first optioned by a manufacturer–for a period of 3 to 6 months–for prototyping and/or measuring market potential. If results are favorable, it may be licensed to the manufacturer for production and distribution in return for a royalty on sales. 1.) SAMPLE PROTOTYPE: Phase complete. 2.) TEST MARKET PROTOTYPE: Use existing cup geometry and brown cupstock. Blank cool zone strips off-line by corrugated paper maker and attach in-line to finished paper cups: one strip to be attached at a PFM station; and the second, downstream at a paper handle machine. This strategy requires only recalibration of the production line and not major retooling. 3.) FULL-SCALE PRODUCTION RUN: Cups: engineer new tools and recalibration for two primary forming machine’s; engineer new ancillary machine, off-line, to attach diametrical insulating strip blanks to sidewall blanks. Lids: new dies for lid forming machine and recal

Mentorship Needs (please select up to 3)

  • Business Model Development
  • Growth and Scaling
  • Fundraising / Finance

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

Tim Johnson Design, Inc. is a Boston-based design studio specializing in Transitional Design. Transitional Design (TD) looks more carefully and thoughtfully beyond appearance and short-term goals to the substance of designs and their long-term conse

In what city are you located?

Boston, MA

In what country are you located?


What is your legal / organizational structure? (if applicable)

Tim Johnson Architect, LLC , Geocup patent assignee.

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea will support the growth of your concept.

Becoming a Top Idea, working with Consortium Partners, and joining the post-Challenge business accelerator would, first and foremost, generate incredible buzz and exposure for the Geocup. It would also generate interest from specialty coffee roasters/retailers, cup converters, suppliers and end users. Funds would be used to develop cup design from sample prototype to test market prototype. The goal would be to generate orders and licensing deals. Success would be defined by market acceptance

How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • In the news
  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)


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