Name: Rise Products
Legal: Rise Product Inc.
Location: New York City, New York
Founder(s): Jessica Aguirre, Ashwin Gopi, Bertha Jimenez, and Lev Tatz
Social Media: 464 Likes on Facebook, 224 Followers on LinkedIn, 435 Followers on Twitter
Industry – Organic Food Market
Size: $52.5 billion in 2018, (Source: Organic Industry Survey by Organic Trade Association, USA)
Rise Products upcycles spent barley from local craft breweries around Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, into an organic, nutritious flour. The spent grains in breweries that are rich in fiber and protein but were previously wasted now get converted into various products by Rise, using their patent-pending dehydration and milling technology.
RISE Products offers three core products currently – Barley Flour, Barley Flour Dark Edition, and upcycled Brownie Mix. According to its website, barley flour has 12 times the fiber, twice the protein and 1/3 of the carbs of traditional flour. All their products are 100% organic and processed through traditional methods by being ground, milled and sifted — all by hand. While their primary focus is business with B2B, they have started selling to individuals through their website.
Barley contains less gluten than wheat, therefore, it works better with foods that don’t need to rise much, like biscuits or bread. Currently, they are tying up with local chefs and bakers to develop new ingredients and recipes that are sustainable. Their long-term goal is to apply their patent-pending technology to recycling food waste at a larger scale.
Origin and Founding Team
Co-Founder & CEO, Bertha Jimenez, first thought of recycling beer waste, i.e. the spent grains, while working on her doctorate in 2015 at the Tandon School of Engineering at New York University. Her goal was to find ways to reduce industrial waste, and Brooklyn’s craft breweries presented a ready opportunity. Soon, Jimenez along with co-founder Jessica Aguirre, a graduate in Management and Systems from NYU and COO Ashwin Gopi, a PhD in Technology Management, had visited several breweries in the area, consulted several chefs and came upon producing flour as the way they would upcycle the spent grains.
The start-up also offers consultancy to partners to help them become zero waste businesses as well as reduce their operational costs and contribute to more circular production models.
The founders — who hail from Ecuador, Lithuania, India and other nations wish to bring the technology to such countries to help reduce industrial food waste and promote sustainable models of business.
Performance and Trends
Between 2017 and now, the company has raised over $150k in funding from Food-X, Laudato Si’ Challenge, and venture capital firm SOSV.
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