Caroline Mak and her boyfriend Antonio Ramos loved the taste of ginger, but didn't like the sugary-sweet taste of ginger ales and ginger beers on the market. They weren't spicy enough, nor were they adequately tangy. On a whim the couple set out to brew their own potent carbonated beverage out of their Brooklyn kitchen. Along the way, they concocted an array of other soda flavors, including grapefruit, jalapeno and honey and cucumber, lime and sea salt.
Lacking bottles, kegs, and any sort of industrial kitchen, Mak and Ramos – by profession an artist and a research chemist – needed funding to create any sellable quantity of their inventive sodas. So, they asked their friends, family, and strangers to pledge to them $1,500 over 40 days. The dollar and time parameters are part of the setup at Kickstarter.com, itself a start-up founded in April 2009 by five friends with the idea that individuals would give a little – especially if they got something back – to fund a creative project.