With a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Yale, Eliza Becton had landed a job at an engineering firm in New York. But after a few years, she yearned to do something more creative. ""Fortunately, I soon discovered industrial design and went back to school for a masters degree at the Rhode Island School of Design," Becton told VentureFizz. "It was completely life-changing. It taught me how to ask the really hard questions like why are we doing what we're doing? As a result, it was not just about creating things for the sake of creating them. It was about purpose and people and user-centered design."
During research for her masters thesis, Eliza learned about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an ever-expanding, floating mass of plastic waste in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
"That was really shocking to me and got me thinking about how I could design a product that could eventually replace those plastic bottled beverages. How do you create something that's easier to use, more convenient, and more enjoyable for people?" Eliza asked.
To tackle this problem Becton went on to co-found Bevi, where she's the Head of Product. Their eponymous product, the Bevi, is a drinks dispenser that comes in both Standing and Countertop varieties.
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By producing sparkling, still and flavored water on-site, the thinking is that companies can replace vending machines and/or stocking bottles and cans in employee breakrooms. (For now the machines are targeted only at businesses.) Usage of the various flavor variations is monitored via internet, both so that Bevi can see which flavors are most popular, and practice predictive restocking.
So will it succeed in reducing our bottle addiction? If the success of the SodaStream is any indication, I'd say yes; since purchasing a SodaStream years ago, I've stopped buying what would have amounted to hundreds of plastic bottles. Scaling this up to company-wide figures sounds like a good idea to me.