Local young entrepreneurs create an innovative way to stay hydrated
Ball-O-Shot is a biodegradable and edible polymer that can contain a beverage, to make it functional for public and commercial use. Thomas Lymburner and Mikael Bouchard-Green, the creators of Ball-O-Shot, and Grande-Rivière high school students, noticed increased initiatives to combat environmental issues like pollution. Specifically, the movement to reduce single use packaging. That is when they got the idea to create Ball-O-Shot.
“This technology has been explored in other countries, but not yet in North America or on a commercial scale,” said Lymburner. “We are proud to introduce an innovative and environmentally friendly product to the beverage and sports world.”
The outer layer is vegan, gluten free, kosher, and GMO free. Ball-O-Shot can hold a variety of liquids such as water, alcohol, juice, and sports beverages, among others. Lymburner said they see Ball-O-Shot at festivals, bars, and sporting events. When the individual drinking the liquid breaks the outer layer, which is less than 1 millimeter in thickness, the layer dissolves. It is a source of calcium and sodium. The size of the product can change and, for the sports events, the shots will hold approximately 45 milliliters.
The creators spent a long time perfecting their recipe to ensure their product was the best quality. “Size, polymer resilience and lifespan were identified as key areas requiring attention,” said Lymburner. “We spent months perfecting the recipe and we have a product we are proud of.”
In January, they signed their first partnership with BougeBouge; they will be replacing the water stations at 11 events throughout the 2023 season. BougeBouge is an organization that organizes community sports events throughout Quebec and Ontario. Their first event is a marathon in Montreal on May 7.
“We are thankful for all our mentors who shared their internal and external contacts. They have helped guide us and develop our business,” said Lymburner. “There has been a lot of demand and we are hoping to grow with it.”
They have been invited to participate in Force Avenir, which is a student engagement competition. They also won the local edition of Expo Science for “experiments”, a science exhibition organized by Hydro-Quebec. They will now move forward to the regional exhibition.
In addition, they are in the process of moving their entire laboratory to a commercial space dedicated to production, a decision motivated by their need to obtain a permit from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food MAPAQ, and expanding their business to festivals.
Photo: from left to right, Stefan Haag, bachelor in biology, head of administrative council for Technoscience and primary mentor, Robert Beaulieu, chief of Project Étudiant, Thomas Lymburner, Founder of Ball-O-Shot, Merik Couture, Technician for Ball-O-Shot, Jean-François Bergeron, responsible for student life at Grande-Rivière, Etienne Bertrand, administrative director at Grande-Rivière, Mikael Bouchard Green, Co-Founder of Ball-O-Shot, and Davor Jasenica, Scientific mentor and technician.
Courtesy of Ball-O-Shot