January 12, 2015
He’s been an aerospace engineer for the last 12 years of his life, but Joe Hackel recently made an entrepreneurial shift. His technological developments for NASA and the DoD are helping in the hunt for asteroids that might threaten Earth, but when you’re living in Denver nothing is more important than craft beer.
Hackel is tired of seeing these beautifully crafted drinks wasted, abused, and spilled. That’s why he put his engineering and ingenuity towards the Pop & Stop, a beer opener and sealer that was showcased at our Denver Mixer & Startup Showcase back in September 2014.
Obviously, funding is a major obstacle that comes up against early-stage startups. Hackel and his team have taken to Kickstarter, like many craft beer advocates before them, to raise the funding necessary to scale production of Pop & Stop.
“This was born out of exasperation,” says Hackel. “It was frustrating since I’m A) frugal, B) like my microbrews, and C) an engineer. I put those things into a blender and out popped an idea – you can reseal beer with a little basic physics. Adding the opener simply made it a one-piece unit.”
In total the Pop & Stop team is seeking $8,500, and with 39 days left to go they’ve already hit $1,625. Part of what makes Pop & Stop attractive is the fact that it’ll be manufactured entirely in America by American companies: outsourcing saves money, but craft beer is something inherently American.
It will be interesting to see how the campaign goes for Pop & Stop as they’re not the first to breach the idea of an all-in-one beer opener and sealer. However, Hackel is banking on his 3D printing production and American manufacturing, all wrapped inside a low-cost price point, to give him the competitive edge.
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