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Denver entrepreneur down to her last 48 hours to raise $18k via crowdfunding

Hot Straw Founder Dawn Miracle
Small Business Drives Colorado™

The clock is ticking for Denver entrepreneur and inventor, Dawn Miracle, who is hoping to use Internet-based crowdfunding to raise $18,000 by this Wednesday, October 17th.

Dawn’s company, Hot Straw (www.hotstraw.com) is one of thousands of small businesses across the country that are bypassing bankers, Wall Street and so-called angel investors, preferring to appeal directly to the public at large to raise the money they need to grow their businesses.

Dawn is active in Inventors' Roundtable, a Denver-based group headed by Rita Crompton that provides education and connections for local inventors. Dawn is using a popular crowdfunding website, www.IndieGoGo.com, to alert prospective supporters throughout the country to her current fundraising campaign.

On IndeGoGo, Dawn is asking the public to “donate” a minimum of $10 to her company, in exchange for getting a sampling of her products and the satisfaction of knowing that they are helping an up-and-coming entrepreneur succeed. As of Sunday evening, October 14th, she has only reached about 40% of her goal.

Dawn and Hot Straw are among the inaugural participants in Small Business Drives Colorado™, a statewide public service campaign that beginning in 2013 will honor and celebrate the many contributions that small business owners, entrepreneurs, self-employed professionals and inventors make to the people and economy of Colorado.

Small Business Drives Colorado™ is presented by Mountain States Toyota and Business Unconventional, the weekly one-hour business newsmagazine that is broadcast every Sunday morning at 8 a.m. on 710 KNUS AM in Denver. Dawn is the guest on this week’s Monday Morning Radio, produced by Business Unconventional and the nonprofit Wizard Academy in Austin, Texas. [Her interview is available online now.]

As Phyllis Cannon, who writes for BusinessUnconventional.com and Small Business Drives Colorado™ first reported:

“Few things are more satisfying than inventing a simple tool that can improve the quality of people’s lives.”

A year ago, Dawn, a clinical research coordinator, noted that tremors made it hard for Parkinson’s patients to consume drinks. Straws certainly helped, but most straws aren’t suited for immersion in hot liquids. Heat can interact with plastic straws, causing them to leech chemicals into hot drinks, Cannon writes.

So Dawn invented “Hot Straw,” made from a special plastic that can safely withstand high temperatures. It’s a great product for people with neurological disorders, Cannon observes. Five-percent of the sales of Dawn’s products are donated to Parkinson’s disease research.

Dawn believes Hot Straw will have wide appeal to members of the public at large who drive and consume hot drinks, because it cuts down on spills. Hot Straw also appeals to consumer vanity, as the straws help keep your teeth from being stained by coffee or tea.

Dawn is at an important juncture, Cannon writes. She needs further funding and has only 48 hours left to reach her goal on Indiegogo. Dawn believes she has the hot drink straw market to herself – and she thinks her patent-pending product will be huge. “We are the only one in the market as far as I know right now.” She adds that while those who help her through crowdfunding don’t actually get a share of her company, she “takes every order seriously and we respond right away to people.”

From such small donations (and hopefully some larger ones), Dawn hopes to reach her goal of $18,000, says Cannon. Check out Hot Straws at indiegogo.com. To learn more, visit Dawn’s own website at www.hotstraw.com.

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