BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — A cup of morning joe, with a dash of Illinois Wesleyan senior
Jeremy Glickman’s newly developed “healthy, functional” coffee enhancer, could provide
consumers with increased energy and focus for the day ahead.
Glickman, the winner of the biannual Entrepreneurship Fellowship, has been collaborating with a group of student entrepreneurs to create a “coffee
creamer that is designed to amplify the positive effects of coffee — which are mood,
energy, and focus — and mitigate the negative effects, which are the jitters and anxiety
that come with caffeine.”
The coffee enhancer, which doesn’t yet have a name, comes in a powdered form and dissolves
into a regular cup of coffee, “so whether you’re using a creamer or sugar or whatever
you put in your normal coffee, you can add the enhancer, stir it up, and it dissolves
“It also prolongs the effects of coffee, so it helps people cut down the amount they
need throughout the day,” Glickman said.
The idea for the coffee enhancer was hatched last summer when Glickman contacted his
childhood friend Zack Schreier, a junior at Williams College, in Massachusetts. Glickman
said the two first discovered their shared entrepreneurial spirit in high school when
they participated in a program at the University of Chicago called Catapult, which
is designed for young entrepreneurs.
“Ever since then, we've really been sticking together and collaborating on our ideas.
Six years later, we’re starting a business together which is awesome,” Glickman said.
As runners, the two friends are always looking for nutritional supplements, “anything
for training and energy during the day.” Glickman was a four-year member of the Illinois
Wesleyan cross country and track and field teams.
“As students, we have crazy lives, and so many products can be of use. We wanted to
build something that we could use ourselves to help us with our college lives, with
stress, energy and focus. That was really the goal,” Glickman said.
Over the summer, after Glickman would finish working at his daily 9-to-5 internship,
he would meet with his team members in Schreier’s apartment and work on developing
“The shelves were loaded with ingredients, with different supplements. Every day was
new experiment testing, trying different ingredients to make the perfect formula,
and really just bringing it together as a team.”
By the end of the summer, they had created two cognitive-enhancing supplements called
“Flow” and “Chill.” “Flow” is an energizing supplement that helps with productivity,
and “Chill” helps with stress relief and improves sleep. After launching the products
in stores in Illinois and Massachusetts, the team found “that people really liked
taking Flow with their coffee in the morning.”
“We decided to do one better and make it something that you can add to your coffee
instead of a capsule form that you take with your coffee,” Glickman said.
The entrepreneurial team once again collaborated as they grew their idea from a supplement
to a coffee enhancer.
“We all bring a unique skill set. It’s definitely a team effort. None of us could
have done it alone. All of our skills put together really creates synergy,” he said.
In addition to the research and development side of the business, there is also the
sales and marketing aspect, which Glickman, a finance and economics double major,
has been involved with. In this role, Glickman is in charge of retail sales, sales
and distribution channels, reaching out to influencers, and “developing marketing
campaigns with other Illinois Wesleyan students and alumni, which is another reason
why being at Wesleyan has been so helpful.”
Glickman said that working with Illinois Wesleyan students has also been particularly
useful in sampling the product, especially because the rest of his team lives in Massachusetts.
“Being in a different location definitely has its benefits. I mean it's a whole other
market. The resources at Wesleyan have been very helpful,” he said.
Having polled more than 100 people, the team found that over 75% of people said they
felt better using the coffee enhancer than using regular coffee.
“We’re thrilled by the feedback we’ve been getting. It’s clear that our market research
has paid off because people are really liking the samples,” Glickman said. “People
are saying ‘Let me know when you launch because I want to start using this product
Glickman said the team plans to use the $5,000 Entrepreneurship Fellowship award money
for its packaging design, which costs $1,500, as well as for its branding process,
which will include developing a name for their product. Glickman said the team has
already partnered with a manufacturer, and the rest of the money will be used to cover
initial production costs.
“We will be ready to launch this summer. We’ll be able to make our first production
run and use the money toward actually making the product,” he said.
In addition to receiving financial support from the fellowship, Glickman said he has
received continuous guidance from Illinois Wesleyan faculty, including Tara Gerstner,
the director of the Design, Technology, and Entrepreneurship program.
“The fellowship has been a great chance to work with Wesleyan and to know that I’m
supported by the school, and faculty has been very helpful,” he said. “A lot of the
professors at IWU have been checking in with me and following my progress, and it’s
been awesome to be at Wesleyan and a college student while starting this business.”
By winning the Entrepreneurship Fellowship, Glickman feels one step closer to achieving
his dream job.
“It’s the dream to be in control of work and to work on a business with my closest
friends. I’ve learned this past year from working with this company that I want to
keep working with these people,” he said.
“It’s really up to us as to how far we’ll be able to take it. It’s definitely the
dream to be able to turn this into a full-time gig eventually or a summer job. I want
to be able to keep working on this business for hopefully what will be the rest of