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BW coffee connoisseurs start venture with help from LaunchNET

Dipbox Image Craving coffee? A pair of engaged BW grads have launched an entrepreneurial venture that delivers fresh coffee from local roasters across the U.S. right to your door, anywhere in the country.

In addition to their successful day jobs, Kallan Hinkle '16 and Jake McConkey '13 are working to make your coffee dreams a reality through Dripbox Co., a subscription box coffee company they developed with the help of BW's LaunchNET program, part of the BW Center for Innovation & Growth (CIG).

Coffee craving couple

Why coffee? "While living in Cleveland, we went to a lot of really great roasters with amazing roast profiles and relationships with their coffee farmers," Hinkle explains. "Jake and I loved visiting those roasters and drinking their coffee and wanted others to be able to have that same experience, even if they lived far away."

Dripbox offers local, high-quality coffee to customers all over the country. The subscription-based company delivers premium coffee tailored to the customer's preferences.

"Once we knew we wanted to do a subscription box, we knew we needed to stand out from others," Hinkle observed. "That's why we're only featuring small-scale roasters and including recipes, coffee facts, green initiatives and roaster merch in our boxes. This way, you're not only getting to try the coffee but getting to feel as close to being in the coffee shop as possible without actually being there."

Learn more about the duo's company and their partner roasters on their Sip the Drip with Dripbox podcast.

Learning and Love Brewed at BW

Photo of Kallan Hinkle and Jake McConkeyDuring her time at BW, Hinkle studied criminal justice, became a member of Alpha Phi International, gained incredible leadership skills as a resident assistant, participated in the Model NATO conference and, as one may suspect, was also a member of the Coffee Club.

McConkey, who earned his degree in political science, was a member of Phi Kappa Tau and participated in the Model United Nations program. He was also a CIG Growth Intern and consulted on projects with companies such as Gojo, Parker Hannifin and OEConnection. This opportunity helped him learn extensive market research techniques that included interpreting consumer behavior patterns and interactions on social media platforms - useful for launching Dripbox.

The pair met at a BW Greek mixer. They were together for five years before getting engaged in October of 2018.

Today, Hinkle serves as a comprehensive benefit broker in the Tampa, Florida, area. McConkey held multiple positions in various companies before landing the title of human capital management consultant at CBIZ. Dripbox is their first joint venture.

LaunchNET and Lattes

Dripbox coffee with flower

The caffeine-craving couple credit Hannah Schlueter and Linda G. Kanner from BW's LaunchNET with helping them navigate the day-to-day business operations and cost modeling for Dripbox.

Hinkle says the advice and encouragement have been invaluable. "We're so grateful to be able to work with them and have these types of resources available to us thanks to BW."

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