Family Dinner Recap: Kristi Ross of U3 Coffee

Event Recaps
Jake Noda
Mar 27, 2024

On March 6, 2024, Residents at The Garage gathered for our weekly Family Dinner and listened to a talk from Kristi Ross, co-founder of U3 Coffee. U3 Coffee exists to create the most meaningful coffee experience for millions of mindful, motivated humans. She and her co-founder (her husband) launched U3 Coffee because they wanted to create a company involving a shared family interest.

Kristi found that most coffee drinkers did not understand what it takes to get the bean from the farm turned into their delicious cup of coffee. U3 Coffee goes beyond the bean, around the world, and across the value chain to promote mutual learning, empowerment, and connection among the farmers who harvest the coffee, entrepreneurs who trade, roast and sell coffee, and consumers who appreciate coffee and coffee culture.

Kristi is a seasoned entrepreneur who co-founded tastytrade which was acquired for $1B. Throughout her talk, Kristi shared about her experience and provided us with valuable insights. Kristi explained the three main reasons why startups fail: a lack of money, no customer need, and having the wrong people on the team. She provided great advice on how to avoid these pitfalls.

  • Entrepreneurs need to know their numbers, for both their business and their industry so they can speak confidently to investors, customers and suppliers.
  • Talk to your customer: this feedback is crucial in deciding where to take your business. Some of the best ideas come from customer suggestions.
  • Create a culture where people want to come to work every day. The desire to figure out the answer is more important than the skill set. Surround yourself with team members that leave their ego at the door and are willing to work hard.

She wrapped up her talk by reminding students that risks are an important part of the process of starting a company, and she lives every day by the Nike motto “just do it.” She encouraged the Residents to do the same, and take advantage of the opportunities at The Garage.

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