Travels from: Victoria
Founder and CEO of KeepCup 2013 Entrepeneur of the Year Nominee
Categories: Entrepreneur, Innovation, Women in Business
Full Presenter Profile & Bio
When Abigail Forsyth first started developing the KeepCup, she thought it would be “a nice little project” to have on the side while she raised her children. Four years later, the KeepCup has become Australia’s leading reusable barista standard coffee cup, distributed by many of Australia’s biggest names in coffee and launching into markets worldwide. Her humble plans, it seems, have taken off beyond even her most ambitious dreams.
Her entrepreneurial spirit was kick-started when she caught sight of opportunity as an eleven year old, selling sandwiches in the business park where her father worked in the school holidays. Profits and losses were accounted for, Abigail recognised a need she could satisfy and got a taste for the relationship between effort and reward. With delights like peanut butter, honey and apricot sandwiches well received, there was delight in others appreciation of a creative idea.Following a Law and Arts studies at the University of Melbourne, Abigail worked as a solicitor for a boutique law firm in Melbourne. During this time Abigail regularly volunteered at the Immigration Advice and Rights Centre (IARC) a not-for-profit charity, giving legal advice to refugees and immigrants to Australia.
In 1998, Abigail left the legal world to start up Bluebag with her brother. zzzbluebag was a feel good food chain offering fresh and healthy sandwichs in Melbourne’s CBD, The move meant the uncovering of Abigail’s creative flair in the store design, menu and packaging. Bluebag operated six stores and a thriving corporate catering business. During this time Abigail commenced an MBA at the University of Melbourne but found practical matters always drew her away from her studies.
After twelve years the business was sold in 2010, having provided the idea and stepping stone for her latest venture, KeepCup. The large volumes of disposable packaging and waste alarmed Abigail, so the search began for more sustainable and environmentally gentle ways to serve food. They set about designing KeepCup as a product response that would inspire and assist in the behaviour change from discard to reuse.
Using her experience working behind the coffee machine, as well as being a user, Abigail took a gamble and set out to design a reusable and barista-friendly coffee cup.
As co-founder and spokesperson for the brand it has been a wild ride. In four years over three million KeepCups have been sold from Australia to Iceland. KeepCup products are designed and manufactured in Australia and exported to the world, and KeepCup has offices and warehouses in the USA and the UK, and 25 global distribution partners. KeepCups are sold in 32 countries around the world. Positive word of mouth has turned the world’s first barista standard reusable cup into a global phenomenon.
In Abigail’s words, “KeepCup is a simple product whose thoughtful design and clever marketing has given people permission to do the right thing”. Since June 2009, over eight million KeepCups have been sold, diverting billions of disposable cups to landfill.
For further information on Abigail Forsyth please contact one of Keynote Entertainment’s consultants on 1300 661 904 or email@example.com and we will be happy to assist you.