Healthier Community - TeensAfter watching Super-size Me and researching the link between sugary drinks, obesity and type 2 diabetes, 14 year old Carter Kostler had an idea – create a healthy, tasty and portable “fast drink” alternative that is good for the environment.

“My mother is a huge fan of fruit infused water but would grab a soda or non-reusable water bottle when she left the house. That was my “aha” moment.” With a few sketches in hand and a preliminary business plan (from researching samples online), he presented the concept of a stylish, fruit infused water bottle to his parents who encouraged him to go for it.

But where to start? “My greatest fear was whether there was a market for this and how I could make my dream a reality,” says Carter. With his parent’s advice and guidance, he approached a patent attorney. From there, things started rolling. He found a design firm to help him develop the prototype and listed his new invention, The Define Bottle, on a “crowd funding” website, which helps individuals raise funds for their ideas. “Some of the people contribute small amounts, say $25, to be the first to receive the product, and others just contribute because they support the cause.” It wasn’t long before Carter had raised $5,000 in startup funding.

Carter-Pg17He also created an informative website that immediately attracted attention. “We launched with drink recipes and reasons to choose this healthy alternative. We added a blog, invited interaction, and positioned the Define Bottle as a featured product, but not the focus.” They now have a waiting list of 500 from the site.

One of those who found was Valerie Alexander of the Clinton Foundation who was researching infused water recipes to serve at the Humana Challenge. This contact changed Carter’s life and his first shipment of 500 bottles were delivered to the Health Matters Conference where President Clinton personally introduced him. Attendees each received one of Carter’s inventions.

Through further research, Carter found the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), whose honorary chair is First Lady Michelle Obama. Carter entered PHA’s Innovation Challenge on Facebook and of thousands of entries, was chosen in the top 10. In March, Carter goes to DC to present the Define Bottle to the First Lady, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and an audience of over 1,000. If he wins, he receives 45 hours of business advice from leading business management, public relations, and venture capitalist firms valued at $60,000 and a cash prize of $10,000.

Carter is currently a ninth grader at Cox High School in Virginia Beach. His story proves once again how each of us–regardless of age–can make a difference in creating a healthier America. And how good intentions can change a young person’s life. He is not certain where he wants to go to college but at this pace, he’s certain to have many from which to choose.

For an update on Carter’s visit to DC, friend us on FB/DesertHealth. For more information on Carter Kostler and his invention, visit

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