MSEM Alumnus & the world’s first smart wine bottle
In the M.S. in Engineering Management (MSEM) program at Tufts Gordon Institute, graduates take their careers in many directions. They become better managers, more productive engineers, and some even start their own companies.
Geoff Lansberry, MSEM ’10, experienced all of those things, and more. He is a co-founder and self-titled “Engineering Guy” at Kuvée, “the world’s first and only bottle that ensures your last glass of wine is just as great as your first.” This industry-disrupting product has just started taking pre-orders and is already creating buzz with press on websites such as Forbes.com, Brit + Co and xconomy.com. Lanberry’s engineering background contributed to making the dispenser not only helpful in preserving the wine, but also making it “smart.” Once the canister is loaded, you can view all the latest information on the wine, right on its touch screen.
Prior to Kuvée and the MSEM program, Lansberry had over 15 years of engineering experience and received an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from John Hopkins University. Although he was seeing success in his career and had held several management positions, he wanted to ensure he was being an effective leader. After speaking to some MSEM program graduates, Lansberry decided it was his best option to become a better leader and contributor. After completing the MSEM program in 2010, he accepted a position at iRobot, rising to Principal Engineer while helping design such products as the Roomba robot. He attributes techniques learned at TGI to make his group at iRobot super cohesive. Lansberry states “I learned that leadership isn’t always about regimented control. It can also be about controlling the things you choose to let go of.”
The skills Lansberry gained at TGI combined with his strong engineering background gave him the faith to jump to the smaller work environment he was looking for when Vijay Manwani, a successful entrepreneur, approached him about a new venture he was thinking of starting. Lansberry’s strong interest in wine traces back to his family opening a winery in Maine 10 years ago, and he’s always wanted to start a business, so Manwani’s idea of making a product that helped wine last longer seemed like the perfect fit. Lansberry noted the two co-founders “hit it off, springing right into ideation. I fell in love with the ideas we created, and since Vijay has started five successful businesses, I knew it was the right time to jump.” Kuvée has since raised $6M from Boston-based Founder Collective, BOLT, high-profile angle investors, and General Catalyst.
Although he is an influential leader, his engineering background is still the backbone of how he influences the company. Lansberry said “I’ve been designing circuit boards but also spent months doing mechanical design, and played experience designer, chemist and project manager, too. TGI gave me the knowledge and confidence to play so many roles in bringing Kuvée to life.”
Kuvée is a wine dispensing and ordering system in one that “keeps wine fresh for up to 30 days.” Customers can open bottles of red and white, and switch them in and out of the dispenser that prevents oxygen from touching the wine, therefore keeping it as fresh as the moment you opened it. Once you place the Kuvée wine into the dispenser, all the latest information on the wine is available including details on that particular wine, what other customer’s thought of it, and you can even reorder straight to your door. And, unlike a Keurig or Soda stream, which the concept is often compared to, the dispenser is barely bigger than standard wine bottle, so it doesn’t take up much counter space and also looks great. The wine costs the same as what you’d pay in store, but with the seamless ordering system, there’s no need for the store.
The next step? Lansberry says, “We want to be the best at getting the wine people want to them when they want it, and part of that is expanding our portfolio as well as our national presence. Internally, we are concentrating on classes I took at TGI: logistics, supply chain, and optimizing our costs. These next few months are going to be very exciting for the whole team.” Kuvée has officially started taking orders for all states that allow wine shipments.
Learn more at: www.kuvee.com
Geoff Lansberry with the Kuvée dispenser