Canoecopia was a great success! We have the first 100 qualified customers in our sales database and a ton of feedback from real customers. Interesting thing number one: at least 75% of the people we talked to who were seriously interested were women. Another group was men who currently take whey protein with creatine and other additives in it who thought their wives would like this product better. Most saw it as something convenient for camping and canoe trips and as a permanent change for their diet. We now have customers from throughout Wisconsin, Chicago, and even NYC. A number were planning to share our story and products with members of their family. Lots of people had questions about the health benefits of whey. While only some of the potential customers envisioned using the whey powder on trips, there is clearly overlap between our target market and the paddlesport crowd. And it really is amazing. We talked about developing products and targeting them toward women, without customizing them to the point where they wouldn't work for men. The result is just as we anticipated. That is certainly gratifying. That and being able to work with people on something as important as their health and the health of the planet.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Wow. After so many months of legwork, groundwork, and every other kind of work you can imagine, things are now moving at a furious pace. The first bag of powder out of our dryer landed on my desk Friday afternoon. We're adding another half time staff person this week, which will put us at 7 1.2 fte employees. By the end of the month we will be up to 11; by the end of April we'll be up to 14. We have our first signed contract for a significant volume of bulk organic whey and our first letter of intent to purchase goat whey. So, things are moving full steam ahead. Like most startups, we're in a race to get cash flow moving and we're doing it in the worst economy in living memory. What could possibly be stressful about this???