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An invention that started with bracelets in the fridge

What started out as an experiment that involved putting silicone bracelets in the crisper drawer with some fruits and vegetables has matured into a fully realized silicone mat that has been proven to extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables leading to less waste and better tasting fresh food.

Dagan Kay, a junior at University of Portland, is using Produce Mate as a project for his entrepreneurship studies, but it’s also a startup company that he has launched with his father, David Kay, and a family friend, John Underwood.

Produce Mate was selected as a contender at the InventOR Collegiate Challenge taking place on June 29 in Klamath Falls. Kay was awarded $2,500 for prototype development that he’s investing in making a new mold for the next-generation Produce Mate mat. Ultimately, he has his eye on expanding the product into the supply chain for fruits and vegetables.

Being part of InventOR is largely about getting to know the community, Dagan says.

“I love the community so much. It makes it a lot easier to go home and bury your head in this project when you know there are so many other cool people out there doing cool things,” he says.

Want to meet Produce Mate? Check out this video!

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