(NEW YORK) -- Young inventors Dave Petrillo and Dave Jackson may have solved a problem that has frustrated many an office warrior -- the scalding cup of coffee.
But it's not just their product that's innovative. The funding for their Coffee Joulies, a product that cools scalding drinks down to their optimal temperature and keeps the drink at its optimal drinking level, came from a social media site that crowd-sources funding for start-ups: Kickstarter.
So what is a Coffee Joulie, and why would you want it anywhere near my cup of Joe? The small bean-shaped stainless steel Joulies are each about the size of a large ice cube and are filled with a non-toxic material designed to regulate the temperature of hot beverages.
The liquid found inside the Joulies is the key ingredient that regulates a steaming cup of coffee. The substance (its formula is a trade secret) liquefies as it absorbs heat until it reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit. At that point, the substance starts to harden again, releasing stored energy and keeping the temperature of the cup around 140 degrees.
The beans last a lifetime with proper care (think silverware), and are completely safe, according to the two Daves.
"The mug you drink your coffee out of is probably made out of the same stainless steel [the beans are made from], so there is absolutely no problem there. The stuff that's inside is completely edible and food based. It's so non-toxic that you could drink it," Jackson told ABC News.
Kickstarter is a two-year-old company that has becoming the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. So far, 500,000 people have pledged over $50 million to start-ups just like Dave and Dave's Joulies, getting rewards like products for their investment.
The site allows people to post their ideas and concepts and ask for "pledges" from Kickstarter's user base. If the combined pledges reach the goal set by the entrepreneur (or surpasses it), they get the money, minus a five percent fee for Kickstarter. If funding does not hit the goal, no money changes hands, so it is for companies with products and/or hard start and end points.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio