Cruz Foam logo

Cruz Foam Tackles Sustainability of Surfboards

Cruz Foam is aiming to tackle sustainability in their own way. With backgrounds in material and chemical engineering, founders John and Marco set out to create a sustainable replacement for surfboard blanks.

Surfboard blanks are made out of different types of foam, though polyurethane foam has been used in the making of these boards since the 1950s. The main reason this foam has been widely used is its ability to shape easily. However easy it is to produce and shape these surfboard blanks they are toxic to nature since they are non-renewable and do not decompose.

Coming from Santa Cruz, this student and teacher, both avid surfers, put their minds together to come up with the idea of creating a surfboard blank out of shrimp shells. Shrimp shells, along with other crustaceans, have a cell wall structure composed of a polymer that can be formed and shaped much like other foams. With making great progress and getting good results, they have pursued their work further.

They are now in the process of moving outside of the school and creating the actual business. Opening a new lab where they can further their research has given them the hopes of creating a sustainable and similar surfboard blank that the people are expecting. They are expanding by looking into establishing an advisory board which will most likely consist of Ward Coffey, Dan Hutchins, and others soon to be determined.

 

They own the patent for the creation of the foam and the product of the surfboard blank created from the foam. Currently their chitin foam is 2 times as dense, meaning their only problems are with the scaling of both the physics and dynamics of the product. There is a lot of confidence in them being able to create a surfboard blank that shapes easily and is comparable in strength.

It is clear that John and his other co-founders, Marco Rolandi and Xiaolin Zhang, are focused on sustainability, and although they are focusing on surfboard blanks for now, it doesn’t mean they will stop there. When asked about manufacturing of their products, John stated that they would ideally like to partner or license their technology to other surfboard manufactures so they can mass produce their Cruz Foam boards. Focusing their efforts in Santa Cruz at the moment but they are hoping to expand to California and later other states to help eliminate toxic materials from entering our ecosystem. When asked what will come from the completion of their product they stated that they will give out the product to famous and local surfers such as Ward Coffey to test the product and provide feedback.

 

Cruz Foam has been in numerous startup like events that have helped them get to where they are today. They have participated in UC’s Grandslam where research is presented and awarded. They entered UC Santa Cruz’s Business Design Showcase and won third. They continued onto to Innovation Goes Outside in Mountain View where they pitched their idea in a forum setting and received offers for business consulting and lawyers. From here they received $5,000 in legal services from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR). Cruz Foam also took 1st place in the student division at our own Startup Challenge Monterey Bay.

Cruz Foam is dedicated to its mission and has now been accepted into Santa Cruz’s accelerator at Santa Cruz Works where they will receive help on furthering their business and entering the market.

 

A sustainable product that can create change in the ecosystem while not changing the sport of surfing. Keep your eyes out when purchasing your next surfboard for Cruz Foam and help make a difference. Visit their website, Cruzoam.com to see what all the fuss is about!

WorkinSpot: Allowing You to Work Where You Want to

Here is a startup that can help other startups and businesses find needed short-term office space. WorkinSpot is an online community marketplace that matches temporarily surplus office space with businesses looking for temporary office space – an Airbnb for office space. This startup company is generating a new avenue to combat the problems of offices having no use for empty desks and the problem that there are not enough locations for businessmen and entrepreneurs to work while out of their home office. WorkinSpot also provides companies that may have too many offices and those that are lacking offices to collaborate and work together to occupy that unused space. A young, driven, and soon-to-be graduate of California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB), man by the name of Sal Ornelas-Reynoso has set out to take this idea and make it a reality. With his backstop being his family and friends he is striving to get his company up and running. At the moment it is still pre-operational, yet there are plans for a soft launch by the end of the year 2017. Their alpha testing is taking place with a few office spaces within commercial businesses in Salinas, Watsonville, San Jose, and San Carlos. Before they launch they are focusing on making sure their services meet the needs of both the clients using the working space and the businesses providing it.

WorkinSpot started at the annual Startup Weekend hosted by the Institute for Innovation and Economic Development on the CSUMB campus. This idea was started in Sal’s team at the 2017 Startup Weekend. But the team from Startup Weekend disbanded, leaving him alone working on the idea. Since Startup Weekend he has continued looking for others who share his vision for WorkinSpot. He has been joined by Daniel Ornelas, WorkinSpot’s chief operations officer, Willie Eagleton, WorkinSpot’s business developer manager, and Andrew Ludwig, sales engineer and data researcher, After Startup Weekend, the team began preparing for and entered the Startup Challenge new venture competition (www.thestartupchallenge.com) to keep them focused on forging ahead with development.  Sal made it very clear that the Startup Challenge helped them create a foundation for the business as it helped him understand how to effectively create a service that customers would actually want. He stated that “going through the competition, I learned how to effectively communicate our business to customers and investors” (personal communication, September 14, 2017).

His team has continued their work on WorkinSpot, with guidance from their advisor Brad Barbeau, who’s “guidance is phenomenal” according to Sal (personal communication, September 14, 2017). The team hopes to move to beta testing before the end of the year, and plans to make another run at Startup Challenge in early 2018.

Through all of the hard work and countless hours that has gone into it, WorkinSpot is coming closer and closer to being a reality. It is certainly something to keep watch for as one day you may be in need for an office space for a day or a week.

Carmel Honey Company

Carmel, CA. (July 21, 2017) — Members of the Reisdorf family of Carmel are industrious as a colony of honey bees these days as they prepare to open Carmel Honey Company’s first brick-and-mortar store at the Carmel Plaza in downtown Carmel. Carmel Honey Company was founded by Jake Reisdorf, now 14, as a school project that took off. He not only founded the company, but is a passionate advocate for saving bee populations. He is a knowledgeable speaker who regularly gives talks, demonstrations and workshops to schools, civic groups, companies and nonprofits on the importance of bees. “We’re super excited to be in the Plaza, it’s a great location. They’re remodeling the whole courtyard, it’s becoming a foodie paradise.” says Jake Reisdorf, the leader of this honey-passionate family, about the store which is on the lower level of the Plaza. Dad Jeff is a general contractor and he’ll be responsible for the build-out of the space, mom Becky will be the contact for day to day operations, while sister Brooke, 11, will take on window and store display and will also assist in choosing the various hive related products.

The Carmel Honey Company store will be an upscale honey store, stocked with honey and hive-related merchandise, including apparel, unique gifts, bath & body items and specialty edibles.
And of course, Jake is still a student, so there is an educational component to the store. Since most people haven’t tasted real, raw, premium honey guests will be able to sample honeys from all over the country, discover beekeeping practices from around the world, and learn about the importance of pollinators to the eco system and the human race. Jake and his family plan to travel and bring the best honey in world back to Carmel By-the-Sea. They already have a sample program from the East Coast ready and will be traveling to Istanbul this fall.

“There are a lot of different kinds of honey with different flavor profiles,” says Jake. “In Europe, for example, the honey is more savory than here. It’s fun to see people’s faces light up when they taste the quality of my honey and it’s cool to answer questions about honey bees. Some of the kids actually ask some tough ones.” So why did the family decide to open a brick-and-mortar store for their honey products? “It was from overwhelming demand,” says Jake. “People kept asking us where our store was located. They wanted to learn more about bees and sample our honey. We feel lucky to be in this location.” The Reisdorfs say this store goes along with Jake’s original slogan he came up with when he was just 11 years old. “His slogan was ‘Carmel Honey Company, Bringing You the Best Honey in the World,’ ” says Becky. “And it’s actually coming true. It’s quite exciting.”

Carmel Honey Company store
Carmel Plaza, Suite 118,
Ocean Avenue & Mission Street
Carmel, CA 93921
Phone: 831.687.8511
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am to 6pm, Sun 11am to 5pm
www.CarmelHoneyCompany.com

About Jake and Carmel Honey Company:
Jake Reisdorf is the chief beekeeper and owner of Carmel Honey Company. He started his business as part of a school project where his teacher assigned professions to each student and directed them to research the profession and build a presentation on it. While researching his assigned profession of website designer, Jake, 11 years old at the time, decided to take it one step further and actually create a real website. At that time, Jake had taken one beekeeping class with his Dad and thought it would be cool to design a website about honey bees. Not only did Jake get an “A” on the project, it inspired him and spurred him to start Carmel Honey Company. That was three years ago. His passion for honey bees grew as he learned about Colony Collapse Disorder and real honey. Expanding his research and education drove Jake to learn more about honey and bees and ultimately decide it was critical to give back. The “Jake Gives Back” program includes sharing honey bee knowledge with kids and adults of all ages. Whether he is in a classroom speaking to first-grade students, or at a corporate event talking with business owners and seasoned professionals, his passion and appreciation of how honey bees impact our world is infectious. He also “gives back” by making a financial donation to honey bee research and education organizations.