In basketball, once a player stops dribbling, they are able to keep one foot firmly in place and reposition themselves in order to look for the open pass or shot.
The motion is referred to as a pivot. Entrepreneurs can pivot too, but instead of only having a matter of seconds to make a decision, repositioning your business can take many months.
That is where University of Connecticut graduate John Jacquinet and Western New England University graduates Connor Holland and Kevin Hepburn have found themselves with their startup Smoothie Pro.
The three began with a protein shake vending machine that was hooked up to a water line and could make any powder supplement shake. A prototype was even created and is currently up and running at a local gym.
But after extensive customer feedback, the team realized people wanted fresh shakes and smoothies, so they decided to pivot.
“Instead of a gym taking up 200 feet of space, it would be an automated smoothie bar experience,” Jacquinet told The Buzz. “A fully customized, healthy smoothie at the touch of a button.”
According to Holland, the machine is going to have two components: A self-cleaning blender and a freezer stocked with individual 16 ounce cups packed with smoothie ingredients.
There will be three initial smoothie types including a mixed berry, chocolate peanut butter banana, and coffee, with more flavors planned in the future.
Although Smoothie Pro is starting with gyms, Jacquinet believes there is room for the product in airports, hospitals, hotels, rest stops, you name it.
“Where we are right now is going to be drastically different from where we are in four months,” said Holland.
The team started in the Valley Venture Mentor Program, and now is in the Valley Venture Accelerator program, where they will get the chance to compete for $50,000 in funding, equity free.
They are in the middle of figuring out what people like in their smoothies and perfecting their recipes. If you drink smoothies and want to share what you like, shoot them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.