RISE Products Inc.: Transforming Organic Waste Into Healthy Food


This case focuses on RISE Products Inc., a small start-up in New York City that leverages technology and innovation to transform a waste beer product (called spent beer grain) into a healthy flour. Started as a class project at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering, RISE Products Inc. attracted funding and recognition from some leaders in the food sector. The company partners with New York City breweries to use their spent grain and transform it into a high-protein, low-carbohydrate, and cholesterol-free flour. The case examines what drives and enables the success of RISE Products Inc. and the challenges it must overcome in order to grow while staying true to its sustainability mission. As it evaluates a growth strategy the company leadership faces several dilemmas, including how to scale-up operations without transporting waste long distances, how to secure external funding without surrendering a controlling stake, and how to communicate the positive impacts of its product in order to raise awareness and increase demand. The overall goal of the case is to introduce students to emerging business opportunities in the circular economy and, specifically, organic waste; the importance of technology, innovation, and strategic partnerships for creating a successful business model; and the challenges faced by start-ups in communicating impacts and scaling-up operations. The CEO, Bertha Jimenez, is wondering how should RISE Products Inc. more effectively measure and communicate the environmental, social, and health impacts of its product in order to increase sales, and what strategy should they adopt to grow beyond the NYC market while avoiding shipping a lot of waste and generating greenhouse gas emissions.

This case was prepared for inclusion in SAGE Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

2023 Sage Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved

You are not authorized to view Teaching Notes. Please contact your librarian for access or sign in to your existing instructor profile.
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles