Kara Goldin, Arizona State University alumna and founder and CEO of the water company Hint, Inc., gifted the university $10,000 to provide scholarship support for emerging entrepreneurs. The Hint-of-Entrepreneurship Scholarship will offer two awards to any full-time ASU sophomore, junior, senior or graduate student in good academic standing.
In addition to being the name of a ubiquitous unsweetened flavored water, Hint recently expanded into other healthy markets with their oxybenzone and paraben-free sunscreen, and plant-based, aluminum-free deodorant.
“I have always been interested in mentoring young entrepreneurs. I believe great ideas can come from anywhere and I’m excited to support those ideas that will have a positive impact on people and the planet,” said Goldin, a 1989 graduate of ASU's Hugh Downs School of Human Communication.
In 2001, Goldin was working at the tech company AOL and chugging a 12-pack of diet soda a day. This was a time when artificial sweeteners were thought to have been the magic answer to cutting calories.
“I was listening to the drink industry say, ‘Drink diet and you’ll be healthy,’” Goldin said.
Her body wasn’t buying it, though.
“I was overweight, lethargic and suffering with adult acne,” she said.
The caffeinated, artificially sweetened liquid was wreaking havoc on her health. And with three small children at home and one on the way, Goldin knew she needed to be healthy not only for herself, but for her kids as well.
First, she quit her job to become a stay-at-home mom. Then, she looked at the label on a diet soda can. “There were all kinds of ingredients I didn’t recognize,” she said. And, she thought: “If I can’t pronounce the ingredient, I’m not putting it into my body.”
Goldin gave up diet soda that day.
Goldin switched to plain water “but found it boring,” so she added sliced fruit. Later, Goldin boiled the essences out of the fruits and infused them into the water.
“The rest is Hint history,” she said. “Hint was created out of passion and purpose. It solved my problem and I knew it could help others lead healthier lives without compromising on enjoyment, or in this case, taste.”
“Throughout my career I have used lessons I learned at ASU, from the value of hard work to the energy of team spirit," said Goldin about the intent behind her gift to ASU. "I’ve met some of the most inspiring people in my life there and I’m truly thankful for the experience.”
With the help of the Hint-of-Entrepreneurship Scholarship, Goldin hopes students will have the opportunity to spend time and resources in developing a business idea and taking it to the next level while they are still in college or soon after. Hint’s ideal scholarship candidates, Goldin said, “will be full of passion and purpose for an idea that helps us all live better lives.”
Scholarship applicants will be required to submit an essay that identifies a problem in the world, propose a solution and formulate a business, marketing and social media plan to move the solution to the market.
Written by Meghan Krein
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