Innovative Idea

Madison Tamblyn ’16 turns a desire for hot coffee into a marketable solution.

What good is spending $5 on a caramel macchiato when your drink grows cold in just a few minutes on the go?

If you’re a coffee aficionado like Madison Tamblyn ’16, who majored in management, you don’t wonder. You innovate. Then you name your creation the “Maddogg Heat Sleeve” and start winning entrepreneurship competitions.

Tamblyn’s product, which she developed during her senior year with help from Elon University’s Doherty Center for Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Department of Physics, and the campus Maker Hub, won first place in a Silicon Valley start-up competition. In April she took first place at the Charlotte (N.C.) Venture Challenge, a start-up competition that allowed Tamblyn to pitch her idea to angel and venture capital investors.

Tamblyn entered the San Francisco ElevatorPitch event as part of a Winter Term course, “Innovation in America,” taught by faculty member Scott Kelly. The course included visits to Facebook, Dropbox, Kleiner Perkins, Runway Incubator and Stanford University’s

The San Francisco entrepreneurship competition consisted of 2-minute pitches. Tamblyn outscored nine other participants, including veteran entrepreneurs and professionals.

Tamblyn developed her product concept in summer 2015 and designed prototypes throughout the fall semester while studying entrepreneurship with Professor Kevin O’Mara. She utilized Elon University’s Maker Hub to produce prototypes of the sleeve; Associate Professor Benjamin Evans in the Department of Physics then helped her test prototypes using lab equipment. After nine prototypes, she finalized the Maddogg Heat Sleeve in early January.

It was very empowering to speak to a room of professionals who speak the entrepreneurship language and recognized the potential of my product. The praise and interest in my product was overwhelming.

While the initial funding for the Maddogg Heat Sleeve came from a venture capitalist, Tamblyn, who is from Cary, N.C., also raised money through crowdfunding to manufacture the product and is in negotiations with a major U.S. restaurant chain regarding the product.

Tamblyn works in project management for Credit Suisse in Raleigh, N.C.