Last word: Thank you!

We are just a few hours away from the end of our Kickstarter campaign. In 60 days, almost 650 people from over 20 countries pledged over $56K for an idea that aimed to take on a big issue. We created 999Bottles to help people grasp the cumulative impact that a small daily gesture can have, and motivate them to change their behavior to help make a big difference for our most precious shared resource: the environment.

Unfortunately, and despite your enthusiastic support and generous contributions, we are not going to meet our goal of $99,999 – the minimum capital we needed to bring to market the first run of 999Bottles.

While we are obviously disappointed, we feel thankful for the great support and opportunity to test our concept on Kickstarter. And we feel particularly proud of:

Your faith and enthusiasm for 999Bottle, which encourages us to believe that there is an opportunity and demand for well-designed products that directly encourage a change in behavior for a preferable future, this is after all, what we believe design in the 21st Century is all about.

We attracted the attention of key partners, from retailers Fab and ecomom.com, to organizations like NorTech, whose interest and support for 999Bottles showed us that ecaring about the environmental impact we have is something not only consumers are ready for, but businesses embrace as well.

The buzz around 999Bottles was fueled by top publications like MashableDiscovery NewsTreehugger.com and Geekwire and it reached even celebrities and activists like Seattle Seahawk’s wide receiver Golden Tate and UN Citizen Ambassador, Jonathan Eric Defante, who lent us their voice and shared the 999Bottles message.

More than anything, we are humbled by your support. You are an engaged and positive community, you pledged, spread the word, shared via social media channels, and sent us ideas for the product and suggestion for how to get more people to see the concept.

In some ways the decision to try to bring 999Bottles to market was a difficult one. It represented a big commitment in terms of time and effort – and one that involved a good deal of financial risk. It would have been easy (or even tempting) not to stick our necks out. But we’re happy we saw an opportunity and took that leap. We cannot necessarily rely on others to take the first step to make a difference, and some of the issues we face will require all of us to act – and every incremental positive change you make does really does add up to a bigger contribution. Crowdfunding is a powerful tool for individuals and small groups of people to test ideas and bring new products to market. With the recent Job Act, we expect to see a lot more opportunities in this space.

What’s next for 999Bottles and Artefact?

We will continue to explore other funding avenues and if we manage to raise capital to produce this concept, you’ll be the first to know!

While our 999Bottles concept won’t be available this year, we encourage you to use any re-usable bottle and consider keeping track of the plastic bottles you save by marking your bottle with a Sharpie (like I do). Send us a picture or post it on Facebook.com/999bottles — we’ll keep the channels open!

We at Artefact, will continue on our path to design products and experiences that influence behaviors for positive outcomes both through our incubation and consulting activities. We invite you to keep in touch with us on Facebook.com/artefactgroup and Twitter @artefactgroup for future updates.

PS. Golden Tate still plans to give away a signed football to one of our backers, the winner will be announced on Monday. Stay tuned!

Hoping for a last-minute miracle, Discovery News and Geekwire chime in to support us!

We’re down to the last 70 hours of the Kickstarter campaign, and though it’s going to be a looooong shot for us to make it we can’t give up hope now and we’re seeing a resurge of pledges in the last few days as well as some great press form GeekWire who ran a profile piece on Fernd as Geek of the Week and today’s last minute support plea from Discovery News. This just may just help us turn the boat around!

Seahawk Wide Receiver Giving Signed Football to 999Bottles Supporter

We are so close to the end zone – 15 more days to go! And with your help we hope we can reach our goal of $99,999 and bring the bottle to market.

To make this last push a little more enticing, Seattle Seahawks Wide Receiver, Golden Tate is giving a signed football to one of 999Bottle backers. So by backing us, not only do you get a unique sleek reusable water bottle that everyone will ask you about, you also stand to win a piece of NFL memorabilia many will envy you for.

So, if you have not yet backed 999Bottles on Kickstarter, don’t wait too long – pledge for a chance to win a signed Golden Tate football and make the 999Bottles a Kickstarter Touchdown!

Father’s day gift idea: 999Bottles!

With 21 days to go and 47K to raise, we are doubling up efforts as we approach the finish line. We’ve created a new reward for those who would like to gift 999Bottles to someone special. here are the details of the new reward:

GIFT EDITION ($29)

Buying a 999Bottle as a gift? We will mail you a personalized ownership certificate, signed by 999Bottles creator, Fernd van Engelen, by June 30. The actual bottle will be available in October. For shipping (of the bottle) please add: $5 for US; $12 for Canada; $22 for UK; $22 for Europe; $22 for Japan

BTW — Father’s day is coming up (wink, wink!) 

Changing the World, One Bottle at a Time

999Bottles has attracted the attention and support of hundreds of people from all over the world. One of our most vocal supporters is Jonathan Eric Defante, who was selected as a 2011 United Nations Citizen Ambassador for his change-inspiring video Changing the World, One Bottle at a Time. A native of The Philippines, Jonathan currently lives in Dubai. But not for long—he is planning to go to Guatemala and help build a classroom out of used plastic bottles. 

We sat down with Jonathan last week to learn more about what inspired him to do the video and what lies ahead for him. 

United Secretary General Ban Ki-moon congratulated UN Citizen Ambassador Jonathan Eric Defante in a ceremony in New York in 2011.

Tell us about yourself. How did you become a UN Citizen Ambassador? What did you do before and how has this honor changed your life?

I graduated in Mapua Institute of Technology back in Oct 2009, under the program of Electronics Engineering. I worked as a high-school teacher for about a year. I was 21 back then and in 2011 tried finding work here in Dubai. It was around August that I had the chance to stumble upon a website citing that it was World Humanitarian Day and then the UN had this contest for the Citizen Ambassador. I checked out couple of the previous videos and then I felt that I could do it as well. I had a whole week off before I started my new job as a sales associate in Virgin Megastore and so I used that time to create the video and deliver the idea into a 30-second pitch.

I got a call from New York early October informing me that I qualified to the Top 20 and then, the next day, that I was selected as one of the three Ambassadors, out of more than 500 entries worldwide. Limitless opportunities opened up for me — I’ve been introduced to many great and inspiring individuals and it gave me a chance to connect to people who share my vision and advocacy passion. It made me more responsible and led me to have this dream of helping communities and the environment at the same time.

Continue reading

999Bottles gains momentum with Fab and Ecomom.com support + New Corporate Packs for eco-conscious orgs

We passed the 50% mark in less than a month! For this, we’re releasing two new 999Bottles corp pack with a custom logo option and announcing our first retail partnerships with the award-winning Fab.com and ecomom.com. Read the official release below!

999Bottle mock-up with custom logo engraved.

INNOVATIVE RETAILERS AND GREEN ORGANIZATIONS LINE UP BEHIND 999BOTTLES KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN 

 Unique Reusable Bottle Gains Support from Individual Backers from Five Continents

SEATTLE, Wash. –22, 2012 – Artefact, the award-winning technology product design firm, who launched a Kickstarter campaign last month to fund the manufacturing of its unique 999Bottles concept, announced that in less than a month, it has reached 50% of its funding goal of $99,999. The momentum is fueled by the support of almost 500 backers from five continents, the pledges from corporate partners like NorTech and the commitment of innovative retailers such as ecomom.com and Fab. Designed to encourage people to switch away from using environmentally damaging plastic bottles by helping them track and visualize the impact of their choices, the 999Bottles combines quality materials, sleek design and unique tracking mechanism.

ecomom.com and Fab are two founding distribution partners who are committed to place 999Bottles on their innovative retail platforms. With an exclusive focus on providing moms easy access to the world’s best, healthiest products, online retailer ecomom.com is always on the lookout for products that do not compromise between eco-consciousness, design and ease-of-use. The 999Bottles’ no-fuss design, smart features such as the no-slip, no-scratch rubberized bottom and wide mouth for easy cleaning make it the perfect reusable bottle for any busy mom. The clever dials and the accompanying iPhone app encourage her to use it often for herself or as an interactive tool that teaches her kids environmental responsibility.

“Everything on our site is ecomom trusted. Our team of experts researches products, so you don’t have to,” said Jody Sherman, CEO and co-founder of ecomom.com. “With its sleek design, positive environmental impact, and educational app, 999Bottles is the perfect addition to ecomom’s inventory of smart, healthy products for the family.”

In less than a year since its launch, Fab has become the destination for design-conscious consumers, looking to bring modern design into their lives. Key to the company’s success has been its ability to source and curate an inventory with the most uniquely designed products usually not available in mass-merchandise stores. Fab plans to include 999Bottles in its virtual catalog in the fall.

Businesses and non-profit organizations, that want to emphasize environmental responsibility in their corporate culture, have also embraced 999Bottles idea. To meet the demand for 999Bottles as a business gift or employee reward, Artefact is introducing a new reward category. The Green Leaders pack includes 100 999Bottles, while for larger organizations The Eco Corp Pack provides 250 bottles. Both options can also be customized with an engraved company logo. One of the first organizations to take advantage of this is NorTech, a nonprofit technology-based organization, dedicated to accelerating the growth of Northeast Ohio’s emerging technology industries, and a backer for 999Bottles.

“Environmental awareness and sustainability is part of our organizational culture,” said Rebecca O. Bagley, President and Chief Executive Officer of NorTech, “We believe that being good stewards of the environment starts with minimizing the impact of our own operations through conserving resources and reducing waste. The 999Bottles program helps us accomplish that goal.”