September 14, 2023
Alumni Spotlight: Joe Knopp
YES! 2022 Summer Cohort alum, Joe Knopp sold his first business Ripple over this summer. Joe was a 2022 Demo Day Finalist, where he secured $8,000 in funding from BizWorld. He used that funding to decrease his laser engraving costs of the Ripple Water bottles by over 60%.
According to Joe, he wasn’t super serious about selling at first. He listed Ripple just to see the interest he would get. After receiving over 100 responses, Joe found two brother-in-laws from Cleveland who are as passionate as he is about Ripple’s mission. Joe is staying on as an advisor, where he can stay focused on the mission and creating partnerships to push the mission forward.
Joe’s advice for others: “The product wasn’t radically disruptive, but I talked to customers and I was able to connect communities together. That was what made me successful.”
He later went on to write in a LinkedIn Post, “But here's what I've since realized: growth and success reside outside of our comfort zones. Embracing uncertainty and stepping into the unknown is where true opportunities lie. So now, I'm embracing discomfort again and using it as my compass, guiding me toward growth and new opportunities. Successes are not a reason to settle but rather a foundation to reach even higher.”
Joe is already working on his next venture, Mica. Mica will be an employee-centered software in the social impact and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) space.
“We are so proud of Joe and the hard work he put into making Ripple a success. To see him sell his first successful business and move onto his next big idea tells us we are on the right track. Investing in young people, supporting their ideas and growth, is what we believe will make the difference in the generations to come," said Charlene Vaca, BizWorld CEO.