A healthy beverage startup company found at the Rady School of Management placed first in the Ignite UC San Diego startup pitch battle, earning a cash prize of $5,000 and being named best product.
The company, headed by CEO Kabir Gambhir (MBA ’10), produces the drink Cascaraa, made from the sun dried coffee fruit of the same name, which hopes to provide a healthy alternative to naturally caffeinated beverages for younger audiences. Gambhir said he was inspired to create the drink after facing health problems with traditional caffeine, and applied his past experience within the medical field in creating the drink.
“Discovery was a big part of maintaining health and wellness,” Gambhir said. “ It’s something that I’ve really been inspired to share with as many people as possible.”
The restructured Ignite Startup battle format now features a rap battle as a part of its competition, incentivizing companies to find a creative alternative in pitching their ideas.
Gambhir, alongside fellow team member Renan Iwayama (MBA ’19) and a few members of the company, did just that, showcasing their rapping skills with their original song, “Drink Cascaraa,” a parody of Snoop Dog’s iconic, “Drop it Like it’s Hot.”
“It was a fun and amazing way to challenge ourselves in writing the lyrics for the song from a pitch standpoint,” Iwayama said, “I’d definitely approve of them doing something like this again next year.”
Gambhir says he plans to use the prize money in reinforcing the company’s marketing strategies by partnering with Hello Advisor, a promotions and marketing firm, in order to continue expanding their product across San Diego, with the eventual goal of reaching all of California.
“We’re thrilled to be working with them, and in using their guidance in looking for new strategies and expand,” Gambhir said.