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Youngpreneur: Carter Kostler

Carter Kostler

Welcome to our newest series on the blog, Youngpreneurs, where we’ll feature stories about young entrepreneurs from across the U.S.  In our first episode, we connected with Carter Kostler, founder of the Define Bottle.  Inspired by the potential to have a positive affect on obesity and type 2 diabetes, the Define Bottle provides a great way to enjoy fresh-fruit-infused-water.  And being that obesity is reaching epidemic levels in our own backyards, this 14-year-old may be onto something big!

What are your favorite things to do as a teenager?

I love running, technology, current events, and learning new things.  I enjoy watching Ted Talks and reading.  I research everything.

How do you go about learning new things?

Talking with other people and learning from them is my favorite way to gather new ideas and information.  My parents exposed me to a lot of museums and we traveled a lot.  I have always loved to research things and still do.

When did you first know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I actually didn’t plan on it.  I have always enjoyed reading about other people’s inventions and success.  With the Define Bottle, I saw a problem and wanted to do something about it.  Soda and sugary drinks have contributed to our obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemic.

What is your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur?

My favorite thing has been the learning process.  Learning about patents, manufacturing, working with a design firm, how social media works…it’s stuff that a book can’t teach you. Seeing something that originally was just an image in your head come to life is pretty amazing. I am really lucky to go through this process at 14.  It is great to hear feedback from people!

What is the most challenging thing about being an entrepreneur?

It takes a lot of time, not to mention money, to go from idea to market.  Trying to create buzz about your product and let people know that it is out there is difficult too.  People are bombarded in every direction with advertising and new products from companies with huge marketing budgets.

What other things have you designed?

I have designed a messy bedroom a lot of times :)  This is the first thing that I have designed.

What do you hope to accomplish in the future?

I want to make a difference and help promote health and protect our environment.  Exploring the world is high on my list.  I love to travel, see new cultures, hear their language and get in with the locals.  I don’t think I could sit at a desk all day.

Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs?

My best advice for young entrepreneurs is to go for it and try it.  Find mentors to help keep you motivated when you are frustrated or have questions.  Always try…the worst that can happen is that you are told no.  Be confident and know that you will get a lot of rejection.  I just heard a great quote.  It said that mistakes and rejections are great because it means that you are trying.

My advice for parents is to listen to your child, help teach them, support them and encourage them to pursue their goal.  I couldn’t have done any of this without my parents support.  They have been amazing.

Why did you make up this idea?

A few reasons:  My mother for years has made fruit infused water in these big table top vessels or made it in a special pitcher to store in the refrigerator.  We all enjoy drinking it.  However, when she would run out she would always grab a diet soda or non-reusable water bottle which is not good for her health or the environment.  So I said to myself, “how can we make this concept portable?”  That was my “aha” moment.

The second reason is that after watching “Super-Size Me” I started researching all the negative health effects associated with soda and sugary drinks.  I wanted to give people an alternative healthy way to hydrate on the go and try to make a dent in the obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemic.

Lastly, I thought it would be really cool to design a bottle where your fruit is floating and you can see it in a beautiful, modern bottle.

Who else could go for some fresh-fruit-infused-water right about now?

Next: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Previous: He’s Baaack!  Caine’s Arcade 2

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11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ben #

    Sharp kid. Go Carter! Hope he had a paper route when he was young and saved a lot of money (rather than he or his family incurring a bunch of debt).

    September 24, 2012
    • LOL. Good point. He did mention it being an expensive endeavor. I’ll have to ask him about that…

      September 25, 2012
  2. Stevie #

    Seems like something Whole Foods could sell pretty easily. What will be the price point?

    September 24, 2012
    • Hi Stevie, good question. He’s actually going to be launching it via a Kickstarter project in the upcoming weeks. I’m assuming you can probably purchase a unit at that time. I’ll try to update the post as more information becomes available.

      September 25, 2012
  3. Heather #

    What an inspiring story of a young entrepreneur. I have to admit, the idea of fruit infused water is a relatively new concept but me, but I would certainly be interested in giving it a try. Congrats Carter on the hard work. I’ll be on the lookout for the Define Bottle.

    September 24, 2012
    • Hi Heather, I agree. I’ve heard of fruit infused water….or at least fruit flavored water. But the idea of fresh fruit makes it much more interesting. Keep on eye on Kickstarter in the next week or two as he’s planning to launch the Define Bottle on their website.

      September 25, 2012
  4. Erin #

    Shafer Power, just came across the site after doing a Google search on young entrepreneur. I have a 12 year son who has expressed an interest in opening his own scooter business. Do you have any good resources you can recommend for young entrepreneurs?

    September 25, 2012
  5. Hi Erin, check out the following book which I reviewed on the blog a few weeks ago – it might be a good place to start. Let me know if you need anything else. Thanks!

    http://shaferpower.com/2012/08/05/book-review-kidpreneurs-young-entrepreneurs-with-big-ideas/

    September 25, 2012
  6. I love hearing how people come up with their ideas. It’s interesting how all these things percolate, then lightning strikes and the aha moment comes.

    September 26, 2012
    • That’s the way, aha, aha, I like it! Sorry, couldn’t resist…

      September 27, 2012

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