The Canon Get Started program, which awards $5,000 start-up capital each month, was designed for entrepreneurs who do things right. And co-founders Rehman Merali and Brian Lee created their small business the right way. They saw a need, and had the know-how and initiative to fulfill it. So they started teaBOT.

Seeing the frustration with long lines and a lack of healthy beverage options for people on-the-go, Rehman and Brian created teaBOT. Via 24/7 kiosks placed in high-traffic locations, teaBOT allows customers to blend their own loose-leaf tea from a touchscreen or mobile app. Focused on the ever-growing need for customized products, users can control features such as tea ingredients, water temperature, and other details on the kiosk tablet or their smartphone. They can even share their blends and receive recommendations.

Brian expects huge growth saying, “Tea is the fastest growing sector of the beverage industry, with growth that has been catching up to coffee.” Capitalizing upon the $26 billion tea market in North America, teaBOT offers a unique user experience and directly targets the increasing market of young, busy urbanites seeking healthy personalized products. A target that Rehman thinks their product will serve well, “The experience fits well with our demographics. Young millennials want to customize everything.”

teaBOT plans to use the $5,000 start-up capital to fund manufacturing and R&D for a new machine that will allow them to gain a distribution partner. They are already piloting on university campuses and have recently built a new machine that iterates on current design to improve operations. The $5,000 start-up capital will help fund a large portion of the costs of the machine, including raw materials, tools, and machinery.

teaBOT, which you can learn more about at, is a perfect example of what the Get Started program is all about – helping great ideas become great small businesses. Think your small business could use a little seed money to help get it going? Just visit the link below to tell us what makes your small business so incredible and we’ll help you Get Started.

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