So, what does Infusion Cap do?
InfuseCap is a patented bottle cap that has an internal chamber that stores the beverage formula securely until the time of consumption. This allows beverage manufacturers to develop healthier preservative free drinks that still have the shelf life of traditional drinks. That, however, is only the most obvious benefit. By using InfuseCap to mix the formula with the water at the time of consumption full potency health drinks are delivered, unlike other Vitamin-infused drinks that are little more than flavoured water, as active ingredients like vitamins break down within days of being mixed with water.
What’s behind the business idea?
The drive for healthier preservative free foods is already a large market globally with functional beverages being the fastest growing segment. In 2008 I was part of a team that developed a Sports Drink with ingredients proven in clinical trials to provide benefits to athletes. However when we began production the sports drink using traditional premixed techniques, we found that the benefits felt when mixing the drinks at the time of consumption just were not the same with this premixed version as the active ingredients lost potency within days of bottling. We then tried delivering the formula in self-serve sachets, but this was messy and dose size difficult to manage. It was then that I began searching for a better delivery method.
Was there a breakthrough moment?
In searching for a better delivery method I discovered that we were not the only functional beverage developer who had discovered the same problem and that there were already dosing caps on the market. I immediately ordered samples of all that I could find for testing and was unfortunately bitterly disappointed by the functionality of these caps. I even spent 2 years working with a US based company to help them improve their design, but that, unfortunately, did not meet expectation. At that point, I had gained substantial experience with the technology and I partnered with one of the top closure designers in Europe to develop a solution that completely met all requirements for a retail ready dosing cap. The breakthrough moment was when we found a technique that was not only completely unique but also extremely simple. Then after prototyping and testing, we knew we had a product that will dominate this market space and Infusion Cap Ltd was born.
How is the company doing?
The response is exceeding expectations and we have had more than 300 companies contact us only through our website and as a result we are on track with full production implementation and first product launches planned in South Africa, UK, Malaysia and the USA in 2017.
Do you have any regrets?
This has certainly been a far more challenging project than originally anticipated with sleepless nights pondering over design issues and cash flow that has taken three completely unique designs (each with issued patents) and countless prototypes over a 6 year period, but considering the technical result achieved and the overwhelming interest I can honestly say I am extremely pleased and would not exchange this experience.
What makes you stand out from your competitors?
InfuseCap is simply simple. Our primary design consideration has been consumer interaction and we, today have the most intuitive interface with the consumer. Other points of manufacturing integrity, affordability, and easy integration into existing bottling facilities we see as a base requirement that must be achieved regardless. So what makes us unique is that consumers can take the beverage out of a retail fridge and activate the cap with no instruction for a pleasing user experience.
What is your definition of a positive customer experience?
We want consumers to realize the full value of our product beyond a gimmick and for them to realize the full value of the formula they just delivered into the water and to provide them with a sense of empowerment by taking control of their own health needs. In short we want our customers to be delighted not just satisfied.
You’re currently reaching out for investors, what do you plan to do when you have raised this funding?
We are progressing regardless of the results of the Seedrs crowdfunding campaign that is as much marketing as it is fundraising. We have already gained two new customers from the campaign so even of we do not achieve the funding goal it still has been a valuable project. To answer your question, we are progressing with large volume production implementation that will be ready by year-end. Thereafter the product launches with our beverage customers in the regions already mentioned.
What advice would you give yourself now if you were starting a business?
The advice I would give myself would be to be less eager when offered funding from prospective investors and to do thorough due diligence on them. As InfuseCap is such an exciting concept I have had a number of unscrupulous individuals eager to invest that have in each instance done nothing more than cause delays to the project.
Finally, Mike what is your favourite biscuit?
Not really a biscuit fan, but don’t mind dipping a Ginger Biscuit from time-to-time. The taste is not too sweet and somewhat socially acceptable as they are neat and tidy.