Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation Program Update December 2017: Spreading the Word About the CoolBot

Every quarter, we publish an update on progress on the Technology Commercialization Grant we received as part of the Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation program. Read on to learn more about how Store It Cold is working to eliminate hunger by reducing food loss.

It’s been a whirlwind three months, especially for our initiatives in Guatemala. This quarter, we focused heavily on organizing launch events to get the word out about the CoolBot.

Launch events

We co-hosted two launch events this quarter alongside our incredible demo partners. Demo partners are chosen based on being an “ideal customer” for the USAID profile: a company that aggregates fruits and/or veggies from smallholders and sells them down the value chain or organizes and ships them for export.

For these events, we invite people to listen to our demo partner teams introduce the CoolBot and talk about the advantages of using the technology. USAID asks that we hold these events periodically so the agricultural community knows that the CoolBot is active and available in in their region.

We hosted our first launch event this quarter with Granja de la Terra, a producer of leafy greens like kale, lettuce, and spinach. With about 45 people in attendance, it was a smashing success, especially considering what happened following the event. When they heard about the project at Granja de la Terra, Charisse Adamson and Alexis Jones from the USAID Bureau for Food Security hopped on a plane and stopped by for a visit.

The second event took place on November 30th with Ulises Global S.A., a company that purchases strawberries from small farmers in Guatemala to aggregate and export to other Central American countries like Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras.

The value in these events is in people seeing the CoolBot refrigeration technology in action. They are often skeptical that a CoolBot and an air conditioner can provide the cooling power they need. But, as they say, seeing is believing. So, for this event, prospects were invited to check out two locations where CoolBots are installed.

Speeches by USAID Administrator Mark Green

This quarter, the CoolBot was also featured in a couple of speeches given by USAID Administrator Mark Green, first during the World Food Prize Laureate Ceremony, and then at Milwaukee Startup Week. This kind of recognition does wonders for helping push our efforts in countries like Guatemala and Honduras forward!

From our perspective, 2017 has been wildly successful, and we’re optimistic that 2018 will be even better! Stay tuned for updates!

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