Our Story

Hello! My name is Melinda, I am an entrepreneur, a 25-year experienced marketing and brand professional and mother of three. I am so excited to share the most amazing journey with you that I've had over the last three years. 

While the world was notedly unrecognizable in July of 2020, I decided to venture into the world of product innovation. I was motivated to solve a problem that I observed while working as a Marketing Director at a local quick service restaurant.  I had no idea where to begin, but I knew what I wanted to invent and the problem I wanted to solve. 

Fast forward two years - It's amazing how you can educate yourself through YouTube, podcasts, audio books, online groups and inventor forums and just reaching out and asking questions. I truly enjoy learning new things and this journey to a product solution has been one of the most incredible, humbling and invigorating challenges I have ever ventured into.  I am truly excited to share, a little of what that looked like and thrilled to bring a solution that will add value to businesses large and small!

Our story began in 2019

I began working with Chick-fil-A in 2019 as a Director of Marketing and Brand Growth. During my time there, I observed our team members taking orders in our drive-thru in the summer during 90-degree temperatures and higher. I noticed how they would rotate inside every 20 - 30 minutes to replace the big blue block ice pack that was held to keep the device at a working temperature. It provided a temporary fix as they held them to the back of the cases. But this also caused condensation to build up on the cases and in some cases on the devices. I was inspired to find a better, less messy way to keep those devices working.

2020 - Design and Development
Over the course of the next year, I knew I wanted to design a durable, easy to use case that would surround the device and include the ice pack in a separate compartment, so that it wouldn't touch the device directly. I reached out to a team member, Michael Greeno, who had a 3D printer and discussed the project with him. He helped design our 1st - 5th prototypes in TinkerCAD.  We tried several material types, and our concept was coming together well. We realized that the next steps included finding someone that could design in AutoCAD. A close friend recommended an OSU Engineering Student, Cole Westrick, who moved the design forward in AutoCAD, and expanded the design for the card reader attachment. We ran several prototypes from his 3D printer and arrived at a design to take to our manufacturer. Once we began working with the manufacturer, we continued to change design and run protypes and material.  We further developed the card reader attachment making it a hands-free solution for the team members as well. The Columbus, Ohio based manufacturer finalized the design improving weight, secure case latching, a secure mount for the card reader and found the best material for durability and one that worked best for the overall cooling goal. During this time, I also contacted a patent attorney and began filing the patent. I was also researching the perfect ice pack solution to work with the case i.e., the Koolbrick™. I implemented the other pieces of the business and finalized the branding for The Kool Solutions™.
2021 - Testing and Results
I created a sign-up form and shared with a Facebook group I am a member of  and offered a free test trial. I was overwhelmed with the response. Unable to fulfill all of the requests, I chose to focus on the hottest states (AZ, CA, FL, GA, OH and TX) to really get a good idea how they would work. The results were beyond great!Result examples:Positive result:In the Ohio store in 90-degree temps, The Koolpad™ was providing cool and working devices for approximately 2- 3 hours with low condensation. After that time the team member would come in and switch out the Koolbrick™ for a frozen one and it was good to go for another 2+ hours. I received similar feedback in Texas and Arizona with a varied 1.5 - 2 hours for continued use in 104 temps.Negative Result:The case closing latches were wearing down over use and made the cases open. Discovery Result:During testing in Ohio, we came across a second discovery when used in the winter months, if you use the Koolpad™ with a hand warmer it will allow your device to stay at a working temperature to charge and hold a charge thus making the Koolpad™ a year-round solution. 
Where we are today...
In late 2021, We made one last design change to the closing latch tested it's durability and security and are now 2022 ready to go!  It has been a 2-year journey, the patent has been published, and I am excited to be finally making this solution available!

Thank you to Paul Hadde, Operator, Chick-fil-A Findlay and all the team members who have tested and given feedback and to those who have supported me throughout this process.

Thank you!

I hope that you will try the Koolpad™ and find it to be the solution you need to keep your devices working and lasting longer.

Melinda Alic
Keepin' it Kool!
Product Innovator | Marketing Professional | Mother of three
Inventor of The Koolpad™ Solution
LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melindaalic

I'd love to hear from you! Info@thekoolpad.com

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