Just a few years ago engineer Miroslav Kovač ran a coffee shop in Zagreb, on the picturesque coast of Croatia. He tried to make ends meet day in and day out, but noticed he was buying much more coffee than he was selling.
“Easily 20 percent of coffee got lost - the baristas offering free coffee to friends and so on,” Kovač describes the problem. And big espresso machines used in cafeterias usually come without counters.
Kovač, an engineer at heart, started to ponder over the problem and was soon drawing sketches of the first gadget which could be linked to any espresso machine to count how many espressos are made.
Before reaching the market, starting from Croatia and neighbouring countries last year, Kovač has added more features to the device. It can also be used as coffee quality control and diagnostics and for distribution control - even remotely - over the Internet or SMS. Now the focus is on making the product better and increasingly useful for coffee shops buying or renting the equipment from Coffee Cloud. “We have finished and tested new Coffee Cloud hardware and now we are focused on software development,” Kovač said.
This week the company was picked for Techstars Metro accelerator, a unique outlet for its focus on hospitality and food value chain.
And if the coffee gets better and cheaper with better control of costs and quality, we can all only win from espresso-machines moving into the web.