Patent-pending, single-use alternative: edible, compostable cups

Last Funded April 2023


raised from 135 investors


U.S. single-use cup market is $4.2B. Amai's alternative is well-timed to compete in this space.
Theme park, travel, service partnerships in place to grow to est. $44.7M by 2027, 5 year CAGR 79.8%
Presence in 17 states servicing a variety of applications. 2023 capacity already SOLD OUT!
Early-to-market upcycled, made in the U.S. edible cup. Profitable by 2024 with $4.5M EBIT (est.).

Our Team

Americans throw away 44 million single-use cups a day, and every year 108 billion pounds of food is wasted in the United States. My vision for Amai is to reduce some of this waste by developing a two-pronged approach to landfill avoidance: capture valuable food assets and repurpose them into a single-use alternative to paper and plastic cups.

What we're all about . . .



In early 2020, we discovered a delicious, vegan, edible cup from Europe and started importing it to the U.S. People were amazed by the concept of a cup you could eat, enjoy, and compost, and we gained popularity with caterers, cafes, and health food stores. However, the product stopped short of being truly eco-friendly— it used virgin grains as primary ingredients that required land, water, and energy resources.  It also included non-recyclable and excess packaging, and required overseas transportation resulting in harmful carbon emissions.

This experience, coupled with our market insights, led to the development of our zero-waste cup, Z Cup, the first step in our bigger vision of creating containers made from recovered food sources. Capturing and repurposing highly nutritious spent grain from beer and oat milk production, we created a patent-pending, neutral-flavored, vegan container that can be used for coffee, tea, ice cream, soup, or anything else you can dream up! Shelf stable with exceptional thermal and moisture resistance, our product is MADE IN AMERICA by our female-owned company.

While we agree it’s always best to opt for a reusable cup, sometimes it’s not always feasible or practical to tote your own, like on an airplane. Or sometimes we forget. Then we’re left with no choice but to use whatever is offered and most often times it is paper or plastic.  

Unlike paper and plastic cup production, steam is the only bi-product from Amai's process. We even utilize the trimmings and imperfect cups for other products so no food is ever wasted. Our future factory will run off the grid by generating its own power from a solar farm. Machinery and vehicles will be powered using this renewable and sustainable energy source.


*Upcycled foods definition: "Upcycled foods use ingredients that otherwise would not have gone to human consumption, are procured and produced using verifiable supply chains, and have a positive impact on the environment." -

Here is an example of how we procure brewers spent grains using the NETZRO platform.  

We are on track to have Z Cup Upcycled Certified by Q4 2022.

We've invested $200k of our personal funds and with a little scrappy resourcefulness have generated some amazing traction. Major companies across different sectors are interested in our product, and we are uniquely positioned to be able to capture all of this momentum.  Things we can disclose include:

Carlsbad Lifestyle    NewYork Times    SanDiego Magazine   Fox5 Local News  Carlsbad Biz 

The worldwide single-use cup market was $13.3B in 2021 with U.S. sales at $4.2B.  

The Food Service sector accounts for over $2B of U.S. sales of disposable paper, plastic, and styrofoam cups and is the fastest growing segment: $3.54B by 2025 (up 54%).

    • This market includes catering, restaurants, sports and arts venues, cruise ships and airlines. 
    • Minimal Market Capture = sizable revenue potential and runway for future growth
    • Our goal is to achieve 1.25% market share by 2026, grossing $31M in revenue.

      This still leaves untapped opportunities to explore other markets such Hospitals, Universities, National Parks, Theme Parks, Grocery, and Retail.  Below we’ve outlined a five year road map on how we plan to stave off the competition and stay ahead of the curve.  We understand the competitive landscape and that others will be ramping up in the next 2-3 years.  Our strategy is to scale quickly and get a foothold on the U.S. market first before focusing on export operations.  Depending on how the market and competition evolves, this may cause us to change the sequencing of products and/or accelerate expansion into global markets.

      1. Establish a U.S. test production facility to produce 10,000 cups per month. Focus on optimizing the manufacturing workflow and establishing market price points.

      2. Address current demand by fulfilling small-volume orders and seed the market with production samples to attract larger contracts for future orders.

      3. Cover operating expenses while we embark on a $4.75M capital raise to fund the purchase of two high-volume production lines capable of producing more than 6,000 cups per hour. It is essential for us to scale quickly to meet forecasted demand.

      4. $750K gives us a nine month runway.  $1M will take us out twelve months. 


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