Start ups

Post image for From the creative mind of Bill Mince springs a smarter charcoal chimney

Bill Mince’s creative mind is at it again. This time he’s invented — and patented — what he’s calling the EZStart Charcoal Chimney. The Menlo Park resident recently launched a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of raising $40,000 by December 31.

“When I barbecue using charcoal, I’ve always been vexed when the newspaper you put into  the charcoal chimney doesn’t start the coals, and again when you have to pour the hot charcoals out,” he explains.

Bill Mince“I started thinking, ‘what if you have a flammable support that lit every time?’ I did a patent search and discovered no one else had thought of this idea.

“So given that I had some time and energy, I filed for two patents and launched the Kickstarter campaign. My intent is to bring this to market.”

Backers who contribute $25 or more to the Kickstarter campaign will get an EZStart and a package of 20 flammable supports. Bill expects the product to ship next spring.

Photo of Bill Mince by Irene Searles

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WyshMe promises to make gift buying easier – and more fun – this holiday season and beyond

Thumbnail image for WyshMe promises to make gift buying easier – and more fun – this holiday season and beyond

Menlo Park resident Bruce Bower and his business partner Cole Paterson have come up with a web and mobile-based service that they say will simplify your holidays. Got your attention? It’s called WyshMe, and what it does is allow you to create a wish list and share it with your friends and family. Not just […]

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Preemadonna’s Nailbot prints art on fingernails using a smartphone

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Co-founder Pree Walia (left in photo) of Menlo Park startup Preemadonna is surprised at how many people don’t get the play on words of her company’s name. “Prima donna may have a negative connotation now,” she said. “But it means First Lady in Italian. And women can feel like prima donnas when they get their […]

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DelMar Pharmaceuticals works to solve the brain cancer treatment riddle

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There are certain rare cancers that don’t seem as rare when almost everyone you talk to knows someone who has — or had — the disease. Such is the case with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and deadly form of human brain cancer. “It may seem more prevalent than it is statistically because it affects people […]

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Carley Rydberg draws from her background in fashion design to launch clothing line

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Atherton resident Carley Rydberg set a goal for herself. By 40, she would shift from being a full-time mom to starting her own business, specifically as a fashion designer. She’s on the threshold of achieving that goal. “We moved to the Bay Area from Singapore, and that’s where I studied fashion design and had my first [of three] […]

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David Barry talks about the promise of Mist, the “world’s smartest sprinkler system”

Thumbnail image for David Barry talks about the promise of Mist, the “world’s smartest sprinkler system”

Brown lawns may turn green again if weather forecasters are correct in predicting a strong El Niño with heavier than average precipitation throughout California this fall and winter. At the same time, residents are urged to conserve. Enter the promise of a device named Mist, branded as the “world’s smartest sprinkler system,” watering just the […]

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M-A grad Hannah Rosenfeld launches Kickstarter campaign for Buddy Watch

Thumbnail image for M-A grad Hannah Rosenfeld launches Kickstarter campaign for Buddy Watch

Semester system colleges across America start classes over the next two weeks, which means that parents are parting ways with their kids and sending them into new and unfamiliar territory. For worried parents and discerning freshmen, news reports about crimes on and around campuses, especially in urban areas, are unavoidable. It’s no coincidence that a […]

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M-A grad Georgia Reid starts environmental-related company focused on capturing rainwater

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Since graduating from Menlo-Atherton High School in 2014, Georgia Reid has participated in a Global Citizen Year in Ecuador where she did an apprenticeship involving potable water. She’ll head off later this month to Lewis and Clark College in Portland, but her focus in the meantime is funding for Raindrop Box, a system to collect, store, […]

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M-A grads Greg Kalin and Rich Branning take ClosetClicks to its next phase

Thumbnail image for M-A grads Greg Kalin and Rich Branning take ClosetClicks to its next phase

You’ve got to give M-A grads and friends-since-Hillview-School-days Greg Kalin (left in photo) and Rich Branning credit for looking the part. If you’re going to start a women’s fashion website — ClosetClicks — it’s best to look sharp. “We do try to present ourselves in a certain way,” acknowledged Greg. The duo, along with Rich’s younger brother, […]

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Gift of learning is holiday offering by Menlo Park-based Curious.com

Thumbnail image for Gift of learning is holiday offering by Menlo Park-based Curious.com

Menlo Park-based Curious.com has launched a new program called the Gift of Learning which allows anyone to select from a variety of courses on Curious.com to find just the right fit for friends, family, or colleagues. “Learning is such a great gift,” said Curious.com CEO and founder, Justin Kitch (pictured). “So many material gifts start collecting dust […]

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M-A alums found online site that creates virtual closets that can be shared with friends

Thumbnail image for M-A alums found online site that creates virtual closets that can be shared with friends

Have you ever dreamed of having your very own virtual closet? Do you ever want to share your outfits with friends? Well if you do, Closetclicks is the perfect website for you. It is an online site that gives users the ability to create their own unique outfits and then share those designs with friends. Menlo-Atherton […]

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