PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. -- Build a better mousetrap, it is said, and the world will beat a path to your door. This week's Fox 4 Reaching 4 Excellence Young Achiever doesn't have a mousetrap for us, but he's pretty sure he has a great idea for a way to get a delicious and convenient meal or snack on the run. Meet a young entrepreneur who is a smoothie operator.
"I like the blueberries and the bananas," said Fox 4 Young Achiever Marshall Green. "They're my favorite. Yeah, that's my favorite combination."
Smoothies. Marshall loves them and drinks a lot of them.
"I've always just liked eating healthy and I've always loved fruit," said Marshall. "And just the taste of smoothies and they're so nutritious and it's got all the different flavors in it. It just tastes great."
Marshall's gotten very smooth at making his own smoothies. But he's not too keen on the mess and the cleanup and he'd like to be able to get one away from home without having to go to a store. So...
"What if you could make a smoothie in a vending machine? A vending machine that you choose your fruit. You choose your ingredients -- your orange juice, your milk. It blends it right there for you and you have a smoothie made right on the spot," said Marshall.
Now this Shawnee Mission East High School senior has decided he's the one to make it -- a vending machine that delivers customized, freshly made smoothies -- a machine that can go in schools, gyms, businesses--
"Anywhere where people are going to be spending time and want a snack or a meal on the go at their convenience," says Marshall. Friends and mentors at school believe he can do it.
"Absolutely," says John McKinney, Shawnee Mission East High School Principal. "Well, when he approached me with the idea a few months ago, I saw the commitment in his eyes. And I knew that when he sets his mind to something, he's going to see it through."
Marshall is no stranger to entrepreneurship. He's run his own snow removal and lawn mowing business and his family has operated successful small businesses for years. But this smoothie vending machine concept is, he admits, a bit of a stretch for him.
"This is totally taking it to the next level," said Marshall.
But Marshall is undaunted. He's working up designs for a prototype and is consulting with specialists on that and attracting investors. He's put together an impressive plan for a company he's calling Fresh and Blended and has a crowdfunding campaign underway to start raising the $60,000 he estimates he needs for start-up. Recently he got to pitch his concept to One Million Cups, an organization that gives people with big ideas a chance to present their startups to mentors, advisors and other entrepreneurs
"This is an idea that I'm all in on," said Marshall. "And when I get behind something, it really drives me and it pushes me forward."
Marshall figures once he has his prototype design complete and amasses his start-up funding, he can get his first smoothie vending machines out for the public in three to four months. His goal for that is this coming fall. Marshall's crowdfunding campaign to raise money for it runs through Friday. Go to https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/a-new-and-unique-smoothie-vending-machine--2