Matt Spelman — A #Winepreneur Story
At first glance, Matthew seems like the quiet type. He loves great wine as much as he loves great coffee, and although he stays mostly on the periphery of the team of “winepreneurs” here at RdV Vineyards, (an incredible facility nestled into the horse country of Virginia, just outside Washington DC) he listens intently as the owner is describing the Herculean effort it takes to create a world class wine, from the soil to the sip.
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He’s holding what looks to be a white textured thermos with a contrasting silver and blue button integrated into the side. And although initially seeming reserved, there is much more to both the man and the thermos than immediately meets the eye. Upon mention of the thermos, an almost palpable aura of energy explodes off of him, as if the thermos is now infusing him with caffeine by osmosis. Matthew enthusiastically launches into the details of the thermos, which turns out to be a prototype of the “Jolt”, his team’s most recent passion project and whose crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo is live now!
The Jolt is a piece of groundbreaking technology and design, a portable and powerful coffee brewing system, shrunk down to fit in the palm of your hand. His explanation swings dynamically from describing the prototype, to illustrating the challenges their team has faced with the limitations of batteries available currently, (pun intended) to more philosophical tangents regarding the nature of entrepreneurship and the creative processes required. As he speaks, a clear passion is revealed in his persona, and it is undeniable that he truly embodies an insatiable hunger for pushing past the status quo, the same hunger that has driven entrepreneurs to innovate and improve across history, reaching all the way back to the invention of the wheel.
Speaking with Matthew a few days later, he shared an epiphany he’d had on the day he and the Jolt team launched their Indiegogo campaign. An avid runner, he finds that going for a run every morning clears his head and allows him better focus the rest of the day. On his “Jolt launch day run”, he was running through the streets of New York when it struck him: “I saw everyone going into work with their suits and their ties and their coffee, and they just had this monotonous kind of look to them, and in contrast, here I was out going for a run! I feel like that’s the life of an entrepreneur, right? I still have to work really hard, but at the same time, I’m not constricted by any rules except the ones I make for myself. Seeing these people, I felt like it was just staring me in the face: what my life would be like if I didn’t follow my entrepreneurial dreams.”
“I’m not constricted by any rules except the ones I make for myself.”
Matthew comes from an extensive entrepreneurial background; both his father and grandfather independently own and develop properties. At 14 years old, Matthew’s first work experience was in a restaurant owned by a family friend, and it began in an unexpected ‘trial by fire’ situation. His sister who worked there couldn’t come in that night, so Matt’s father called and offered him as a substitute…on one of the busiest nights of year. Four years later, he was managing the place. He soaked up knowledge from the owner in the meantime, and credits him, as well as Matthew’s own family with imbuing him with the sense of what it means to be an entrepreneur, and changing the trajectory of his life ever since. It couldn’t be said any better than by the man himself: “The spirit of entrepreneurialism runs in my blood. This is what I was born to do!”
Jolt’s Indiegogo campaign went live September 11, and at the time of publication they have raised over 25% of their goal. Visit www.thejoltcoffee.com to pre-order your Jolt today!
** All claims and opinions expressed in this article were influenced by copious amounts of cheese and wine. :)
The RdV #Winepreneur Project: Great wine takes great passion, hard work and an entrepreneurial spirit. As part of its quest to create one of the world’s great wines, RdV is telling the stories of entrepreneurs of all types. From startups to big business, passion driven entrepreneurs with audacious goals are driving business forward and their stories help to inspire others. The common thread of of our featured entrepreneurs is a genuine love for wine and a shared vision of changing and industry, just as our winemakers seek to do every day.