ITE team clinches top honours with ice-cool idea
Iced drinks are a delight in hot weather, and a group of Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College East students have developed a method to ensure beverages are not diluted from the melting ice.
Their idea of infusing flavours into ice cubes won them the top honours at both the ITE Makerfest Competition 2020 and NTU-ITE Startable Challenge 2020.
The six Nitec in business services students - Koh Ke Lin Jonaven, 19; Dela Cruz Trisha Mae Guzman, 19; Mohd Haikal Abdullah, 19; Nur Aqilah Ilham, 18; Tay Yu Tong, 18; and Wee Li Xuan, 18 - are selling their drinks at a pop-up stall at the Eureka Taste Cafe at the National University of Singapore.
The six, who call themselves Sol-ITE, have no prior knowledge of the food and beverage industry. But they compensated for it with hard work, to produce a marketable product using quality ingredients.
"We want to differentiate ourselves from other off-the-shelf products and beverages sold at cafes, that might tend to have higher sugar content," said Mr Koh, the team leader, who hopes to start a business.
"Using quality ingredients means less profit for our business, but we believe it will set us apart from our competition."
Miss Nur Aqilah came up with the idea to infuse soda beverages with strawberry flavoured ice cubes and mixed berries, and milk beverages with cocoa ice cubes after seeing a social media post about coffee flavoured ice cubes in milk.
Through taste tests, they settled on four drink flavours, each priced at $3.50.
Said Mr Koh: "We hope to introduce more flavours in the long run, and we have been talking to some partners to explore how we can offer our product to more customers. Eureka cafe was one of them."
Together with the Business School of ITE College East, Miss Guzman and teammates are in discussions with ice manufacturer JM Ice to mass produce the ice cubes for distribution.
Mr Koh said the idea to branch into manufacturing came from school mentors and feedback from the competition judges.
ITE lecturer Dawn Koh, who served as the group's mentor, hopes the students can run a pop-up store in ITE College East in the future, to "give back to the school and inspire more entrepreneurs".