A Name, a Cup, and a New Competition

Hi Everyone!

This is Alexa, one of the founding members of Round Table Hops. I hope you are all having a wonderful Father's Day and thanking those awesome men in your life- maybe even with a round of brews!

Here at Round Table Hops we have been busy this week with some really amazing new developments in our business. As you may know, I graduated from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota last month. During my experience there, I met the incredible team from the Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship, specifically Melissa Kjolsing, coordinator for the Minnesota Cup Business Competition.  The Minnesota Cup is a spectacular opportunity for Minnesota entrepreneurs to share their ideas, work with mentors, and potentially win $$ to help advance their businesses- super cool, right? This year, the great folks at the Holmes Center received nearly 1,300 applications. Now, the Semi-finalists (INCLUDING ROUND TABLE HOPS!) will compete for a share of $300,000 in prizes!  (If you have a business idea or just want to learn more, check out this link for more info: http://www.breakthroughideas.org/)

As a part of the competition, we needed to make some big decisions this week, including the creation of a logo, selection of a team picture, and- most importantly- a name! The team got together after work on Tuesday and set out brainstorming some ideas. Some of my favorite flops included Minnehopolis, I have a Dream Hops, and The Golden Circle (a nod to one of our favorite idea makers and TED celeb, Simon Sinek- check him out for some inspiring messages about understanding the "why" behind the "what").  After some agonizingly awful ideas, we came up with one that felt right.

If you have spent any time with the founding members of Round Table Hops, you have probably heard us talk about why we are in the business of hop growing. We believe that some of the world's best ideas have originated in conversations over a pint. These conversations are among equals, where new ideas are nurtured and grow stronger within the confines of confidence and impartiality. Our hops will help nourish these "round table" conversations.

The history of the Round Table dates back to the legend of King Arthur. First mentioned in literature in about 1155, the circular table was designed so that no person, not even the King, sat at the head of the table. Taken a step further, each knight at the table had the same privileges and commitments to the group. Still, we talk about making sure everyone has a seat "at the table." The community formed at Arthur's Round Table, not unlike the community built around craft beer, was designed to put the best ideas forward and to perpetuate a set of commonly agreed upon standards. Sure, the Knights Code of Chivalry is not exactly a perfect parallel to the tenants of craft brewing (the industry isn't really expected to "give succour to widows and orphans,")  but some of the ideas remain the same- among them, "keep faith, at all times speak the truth, and preserve to the end in any enterprise begun."

King Arthur's Round Table

We approach hop growing with this same philosophy. We believe that innovative thinking and a challenge of the status-quo will propel the future of the industry- and the complex craft brewing culture it supports-forward. We challenge others to embrace this "round-table" philosophy, where no person's contribution is lesser than another and an equal exchange of ideas builds collaborative success.

We look forward to keeping you all updated with our progress in the Minnesota Cup and can't wait to unveil our new logo later this week (thanks Chloe!).