United States


Jen Yu
August 7, 2018

Photo Credit: Taste Radio

PicoBrew. a Seattle-based FoodTech startup, was founded in 2010 by brothers Bill and Jim Mitchell. The company is famous for its crowdfunded devices that make beer brewing so easy that anyone – even those who never brewed before – can enjoy the self-made draft beer at home.

Dr. Bill Mitchell, CEO of Pico Brew, spoke at Startup Global Seattle, co-hosted by GIF, in 2015.

The company uses platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Kickstarter for marketing and sales. According to Bill, global online platforms such as Kickstarter can help entrepreneurs reach the global marketplace. “We honestly had no idea what the demand would be like. That’s why Kickstarter was so great. You learn a lot about how much and where your demand is. Our first product raised $670,000 in pre-orders on Kickstarter from around the world, and we learned where our customers truly were,” Mitchell shared.

What’s more, these online platforms allow entrepreneurs to test the market without investing a lot up front. “The reason the lean startup thing has legs is because you don’t burn through a ton of money before you figure out what you want to do. Don’t take a pile of money up front, do it lean and kickstart it,” Mitchell added.

In addition, Bill also highlighted the value of leaning on partners to help get off the ground when going global. “If you have a product that is sophisticated, atoms-and-bits-based and global, you’ll want to work with a major manufacturer who can handle things like returns and reworks with you…There are huge differences between first, second and third-tier manufacturers for expensive and time-consuming operations like large injection molded plastic pieces. If you don’t partner carefully you can have all sorts of delays and interruptions in your parts deliveries,” Mitchell said.

Bill Mitchell