Who other than a starving college student would invent a better way to make ramen noodles and mac and cheese?
Justin Herd is the local inventor behind OneBowl,
a product that allows anyone to make, eat and store noodles in the same bowl.
Herd says he was inspired to invent OneBowl after he wondered why it took a pan, a strainer, a bowl and a storage container to make something as simple as noodles. His idea was to create a system that resulted in less dirty dishes, less time cleaning, and less room needed for storage.
Starting with help from a fellow student in the design school, he made a simple prototype. Herd then began refining his idea through customer validation testing and five iterations before he ended up with a product that is ready to be mass manufactured.
Well, almost ready. He just needs to raise some capital: "Tooling cost are very expensive."
Not one to be deterred by hurdles, Herd has launched a $50,000 Kickstarter campaign
to raise the funds for tooling and is confident in its success. He says his goal is to begin selling online this fall and begin shipping "to hungry college students" in October, with a longer term goal of having his product sold through traditional brick and mortar retailers. Herd says the OneBowl will be retailing for $20.
Although OneBowl is a solo effort, Herd credits his unofficial team for mentorship and advice. He says the staff at GVSU's Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, GR Current, Tiger Studio (design help) and Twisted Root Marketing have been instrumental in his success to date.
You can visit Herd's website
or Facebook page
to learn more "The OneBowl."
Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor