Jody Hall, Marketing '88, spent the first 10 years of her career at Starbucks. After Cupcake Royale's success, she brings her cafe operations management knowhow to what she calls Coffee 2.0.

What problem/market need were you addressing when the business started?

Mental health struggles are at an all-time high—especially with young adults. [Our solution is to] add wellness to the most ritualistic beverage in the world; to help us feel and perform better, and to [make it] taste as delicious as your favorite micro-roaster.

What has been the biggest challenge and the biggest reward?

Raising money in one of the toughest economic climates. A year ago, I made the decision to slash team and budget to conserve cash and ensure our company survives. We focused on: 1) optimizing the site for conversion; 2) nurturing and staying close to big tech company decision makers who wanted to bring Wunderground to offices; and 3) focusing on products to fuel growth— R&D and innovation via a ready-to- drink (RTD) oat mushroom latte among other products.

We’ve been able to weather the storm and now have five of the biggest tech companies in the world onboarding Wunderground into offices to show care for employees’ health. It’s a huge opportunity for us and our decision paid off. We’re actively working to close the raise we started a year ago to finance these market forces.

What’s next for the business?

Launching a crowdfunding campaign to close our round, add evangelists and advocates to our customer and investor base! We’re launching an RTD and will be launching this inside tech companies in their bev coolers—super innovative vs grocery.

If you were to recommend one thing newcomers should taste, what would it be?

Try our mushroom infused latte featuring our “Brain Wash” superboost! SU students get a 10% discount on beverages and food!

Two-sentence advice for anyone who wants to follow your footsteps?

Every dollar spent in a startupneeds to be thoughtful and future the trajectory of the company. Be wise and fully understand how many “days of cash” you have as a company—every day.