Jan. 26, 2016

Ice Cube Innovation: Classroom to Startup

Undergraduate students Alexandra Lazares (BA ’16) and Scout Beron (BA ’16) are using what they’ve learned at Batten to take their unique idea to the next level. The two developed the company Ice Cube Innovation (ICI) while studying at Oxford University this summer, after noticing that people in the U.K. did not use ice in their drinks because of the dilution effects. From this, they started ICI to creates organic, flavor-infused ice cubes. They have solidified their first 25-page business plan through the Batten Social Entrepreneurship class and have received feedback from venture capitalist Ross Baird for their future operations.

Lazares and Beron plan to sell their packaged project, called PopIce, in local Charlottesville health-food stores with plans for expansion in the  southern United States. 

They credit their success in building a business plan to their Social Entrepreneurship class, which trained them to effectively interact with customers, discovering customer desires, testing what people want through surveys and thinking about ICI’s financial growth. Through various guest speakers in the class, Lazares and Beron learned their most important lesson: An idea is great, but execution will make a business self-sustaining.

What they’ve learned at Batten is helping them through each step of the process, and Lazares has great admiration for the program. “I transferred here and applied directly into the Batten program,” she says, “because I admired the real-world policy application that I was missing in my liberal arts background. I believe students have the ability to grow academically and professionally from the dynamic environment of the Batten School.”