Human beings have long sought to conquer the unconquerable and to push the boundaries of human endurance. There are few such endeavors more challenging than venturing into the coldest and harshest environments on the planet. The challenges these adventurers face are nearly countless, but one that is often underestimated is the massive risk of dehydration in high mountains and the lack of sufficient technology to meet this important need. Astronauts and mountaineers of NASA's Johnson Space Center have created a technology that solves this problem: a freeze-resistant hydration system that helps stop water from freezing at sub-zero temperatures by using cutting-edge technology and materials science to insulate and heat enough water to prevent dehydration over the course of the day, so that adventurers no longer need to worry about their equipment stopping them. This patented technology is the basis of the founding of Aeropak, an advanced outdoor hydration brand developed by three ASU students (Kendall Robinson, Derek Stein, and Thomas Goers) in collaboration with W.P. Carey’s Founder’s Lab. The primary goal was to develop traction among winter sport enthusiasts to create a robust customer base and evaluate the potential for partnership with hydration solution companies as well as direct sales through online and brick-and-mortar retail avenues. To this end, the Aeropak team performed market research to determine the usefulness and need for the product through a survey sent out to a number of outdoor sporting clubs on Arizona State University’s campus. After determining an interest in a potential product, the team developed a marketing strategy and business model which was executed through Instagram as well as a standalone website, with the goal of garnering interest and traction for a future product. Future goals of the project will be to bring a product to market and expand Aeropak’s reach into a variety of winter sport subcommunities, as well as evaluate the potential for further expansion into large-scale retailers and collaboration with established companies.
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