How Winning the 2018 Best New Product Award Helped Coffunity Grow

 
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Last year, Coffunity was awarded two Best New Product (BNP) Awards during the Specialty Coffee Expo in Seattle: One for Best in Technology and the other for Best of Show.

 
 

ANDREA B. PACAS reflects on the win.

As a startup who had just launched their beta app version on iOS a month before, it was a huge achievement for us, because it was like receiving a green light from the specialty coffee community to keep going.

This led to great coverage opportunities with coffee industry media, technology media, and even business giants like Forbes. Receiving these awards from within an array of huge technological advances in roasting and espresso machines, grinders, cups, bags, and more, we had already started to do the impossible as a team of six people from El Salvador – a producing country – with a female CEO. We proudly display our prize on our website, and it certainly raises eyebrows when presenting our startup to new people every day.

Over the last year, we worked incessantly to improve our existing product and create new features and characteristics that we want the coffee community to enjoy and find useful. The BNP awards made us set a high standard for ourselves, especially since we would be coming back to Expo this year in Boston. Coffunity is also the first Salvadoran startup to be accepted in a Google Launchpad program that is taking place this March in Miami, and the first Central American startup to develop their own image recognition structure with machine learning.

We keep in mind that these prizes are not just a demonstration of support, but also a confirmation that the coffee industry is hungry for innovation, interconnectivity, education, and discovery. We scrutinize each feature, small change, and new addition, so that they can be as beneficial and useful for different actors in the community.

 
 
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Coffunity in Action

Taking a picture of a coffee label will identify it in seconds, sharing valuable information collected from the specialty coffee community.

 
 

This year, we are proud to be able to present the evolution of our app, from our Android launch in August 2018 to the updates we will present in this year’s Expo. We have been working on a better and more-easy-to-use interface, a better discovery function for coffees including the new image recognition model, better access to information on businesses and people, and a new section that will help the coffee community from all over the world share their day-to-day around coffee called Lifestyle.

But, the app isn’t the only thing we have been working on. In our mission to create the largest coffee community, we have also developed a new tool for coffee roasters called Business Dashboard, which allows roasters to manage and update their own profile and coffee listings on the app, have easy access to app user activity around their coffees, and manage the producers and farms they work with to create more specific data for users to see on the app. This tool is completely free and is intended to allow roasters to become more accessible and involved storytellers within the coffee community.

In the long term, we will work on new features and tools that will bring the community even closer, will allow people to learn more about coffee, and will help the industry connect, network and receive more exposure. Winning the BNP Awards last year was a huge accomplishment for us, and it has been an important factor for us to continue our mission to create the world’s largest coffee community and help the world drink better coffee!

 

 

ANDREA B. PACAS is the Cofounder and CEO of Coffunity.

TK TK Recipients of this year’s Best New Product Awards will be announced… TK TK