Startup Vital raises $15K in crowdfunding campaign to develop reusable cup
Vital, a local startup on a mission to “mainstream green” in Puerto Rico and beyond, surpassed $15,000 raised in its first three days on the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform.
The funds will be used to develop the Tropicup, a reusable alternative to disposable cups that supports Puerto Rico’s sustainable economy by working directly with local artists and contributing to conservation efforts on the island.
The campaign, which ends June 17, has a fundraising goal of $25,000, which will also be used to sponsor environmental projects, such as hiring local artists to create murals with recycled bottle caps.
“Sustainability combines environmental, social and economic well-being,” said CEO Laura Napoli, who returned to Puerto Rico after spending 13 years in the diaspora.
“As a social enterprise we want our impact to touch upon every dimension. With Tropicup, we’re going beyond creating a zero-waste alternative to disposable cups by also seeking to uplift the abundance of creative talent on the island,” she said.
The startup commissioned Puerto Rican illustrator Lorraine Rodríguez for the cup’s original design, which she described as “an expression of the island’s natural encanto, which we strive to protect.”
“I’m grateful and proud to collaborate with Vital on a project that, in addition to supporting my work as an illustrator, reflects my values with respect to the environment. This kind of effort always moves and motivates me,” Rodríguez said.
Tropicup will be made from platinum-grade silicone, a substance known for its practical properties including its flexibility, which makes the cup collapsible and easy to store, and compatibility with hot and cold temperatures. Silicone is free of BPA and other chemicals present in plastic-based alternatives and ultra-durable, a claim the company backs with a lifetime guarantee.
Campaign backers will receive the cups plus the opportunity to earn rewards tied to environmental initiatives, such as adding their names to a bottlecap mural and signing an open letter calling for environmental policies, company officials said.
Vital will also donate 1% of Tropicup sales to a nonprofit dedicated to conserving the island’s forests.