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Entrepreneurial Student Helps Save the Amazon with Tea, and Channing Tatum

15 MAY 2015
Career Path : Education News

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All it took was a course on Amazon language and culture for Brown University student Tyler Gage to zip off to the Amazon full of intrigue and passion. While staying with a host family, he learned about the Amazonian way of life, and many of the struggles they face living in a modern world.

They want to hold on to their land, languages, and traditions, but it is a challenge for them to adapt to modern life. They now live in a world where cash has value and they need money to send their kids to school,” says Tyler Gage.

He thought of a way he could help. His idea came from the guayusa tea drunk by the tribespeople every morning. Some research told him that these tea leaves had as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, and double the antioxidants found in green tea. So he began RUNA—a company which brought this Amazonian staple to the North American public, to raise aware of Amazon cultures and channel income and GDP to these farming communities.

So where does Channing Tatum come into this? Channing Tatum was a drinker of RUNA before actually becoming an investor. He traveled to Ecuador with Tyler Gage to see the Amazonian way of life himself, and understand the need for this business.

Now established for several years, the company brings in millions of dollars in revenue every year, on its way to conquering unhealthy energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster.

Source: Fast Company