A Hot Idea: Elon Senior Invents Sleeve To Keep Coffee Warm

By John Newsom
News & Record, Greensboro, N.C.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Find a problem and fix it! That’s the lesson behind the story of Maddie Tamblyn who invented a unique coffee sleeve that keeps her coffee nice and hot long after it is poured.  This article takes a look at Maddie’s journey into entrepreneurship which includes some experiences many women in business may identify with.


Maddie Tamblyn learned two important lessons during an internship last summer: (1) It’s rude to get up during a conference call to microwave your coffee and (2) cold coffee is terrible.

So the Elon University senior did something about it. This fall, she invented a coffee sleeve — the jacket that goes around a takeout cup of coffee — that she says keeps her java nice and hot long after it’s poured.

In January, on her 22nd birthday, Tamblyn squeezed her way into a business pitch contest on a visit to California and won it.

Now, she’s looking for investors and wondering if making and selling coffee sleeves could be a full-time business venture after she graduates in May.

Tamblyn, a Cary native and business management major, sat down with News & Record staff writer John Newsom over — what else? — coffee at the university coffee shop. What follows is an edited transcript of their conversation.

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