Hey there! I’m Drew Beal, a Full-Time MBA 2013 alum. I’m one of those guys that stuck around San Diego after graduation, working on his Lab to Market project. In fact, I’m writing to you from a co-working club in University Heights, 3rdspace, where I spend most of my days.
When I got the opportunity to author a guest post for the Rady blog, I had a hard time deciding what to write about. An update on my startup seemed like an obvious choice — but so did Rady Oktoberfest. And believe it or not, I thought of a way to relate fantasy football to my Rady experience. In the end, I decided to write about all three. Enjoy!
Kill the Cup, which started as a grassroots campaign at UC San Diego in spring 2013, is a waste reduction program that encourages consumers to bring a reusable cup when they get coffee. The program is now turning into a nationwide environmental initiative on college campuses, and we recently launched the Kill the Cup University Challenge.
The social media-inspired contest, which lasts from Oct. 6 to Oct. 31, offers prizes and rewards to coffee drinkers who upload photos to KillTheCup.com posing with their reusable coffee cups. The pictures help establish social norms within the campus communities, with the goal of creating a triple-bottom line impact (less waste, more profits, more excitement around sustainability). We work with campus coffee shops to measure the impact, and we work with student ambassadors at each campus to implement the campaign. The teams that generate the greatest improvements in Social Awareness and Waste Reduction will be eligible for $5,000 in grants to fund their own social impact projects.
So how do we make money? That’s a great question, and it’s been fun trying to figure that out. Given Kill the Cup’s growing popularity on college campuses, we’re confident in being able to establish an ongoing partnership with a leading consumer brand. Initial talks with Starbucks and Taco Bell were well-received, and they’re interested in seeing the results of the inaugural University Challenge.
Our nonprofit status also makes us an attractive partner for 3rd-party fundraisers, that is, when a company holds a promotion to benefit Kill the Cup. For example, you can use the code KILLTHECUP to receive 10% of all KeepCup products through the end of October and 30% of sales go to our organization.
Speaking of October, Rady held its annual Oktoberfest celebration two weeks ago. (See what I did there!?) The $10 all-you-can-eat-and-drink event never disappoints. Ok, maybe that one year with the small white cups was a little substandard. This year’s token giveaway, however, was one of the best yet. (Trust me, I know way too much about reusable cups.)
One noticeable omission from this year’s Oktoberfest was the presence of Professor Roemer. His name was a common talking point amongst alumni — regardless of the cohort, everyone has a Roemer story!
Another common talking point — especially with the FT ’12, ’13, and ’14 — was an industry that has an estimated value of $70 billion. You guessed it: fantasy football. This marks the 3rd year of the aptly-named Rady Innovation League, which has members from three different cohorts. Think what you want about the absurdity of fantasy sports — the league is a great way to stay in touch with old classmates. And there’s tons of data, so it’s a natural fit for MBA’s.
So there you have it. 16-months post-graduation and all I have to talk about are reusable cups, beer fests, and the fact that I’m the only remaining undefeated team in the Rady Innovation League. Sounds like a successful update to me!