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If you gave a bunch of college kids half a million bucks to invest in companies run by other college kids, what would they do with it? They’d invest in a business that makes soft drink vending machines, of course.
Boston’s Dorm Room Fund, which 11 local college students manage for Philadelphia-based First Round Capital, has made its first-ever investment: $20,000 in Refresh Water Technologies, an MIT startup with a prototype that it claims can reduce a vending machine’s carbon footprint by 80 percent.
Instead of holding prefilled soda and water bottles, a Refresh machine stores empty, collapsed bottles that can be expanded and filled whenever a thirsty customer deposits quarters or scans a credit card.
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