Investor Spotlight: Samuel Hopkins of Eco-Sheep

Published on June 29th, 2017 by Saeed Baeshen

Hundreds of people have invested millions of dollars in American Homeowner Preservation, and we want to take a time to recognize them.  Today we shine a spotlight on Samuel Hopkins, who has devised an inventive solution to an underreported problem.

Over 100 million Americans ride bicycles every year.  Cycling is as a greener  means of transportation than driving a car, or even using public transit.  As a result, many American cities are becoming more and more bike-friendly, which encourages even more people to ride.

While human-powered bicycles do create less pollution than fossil-fuel powered cars, they are not 100% clean.  Bicycle chains need to be lubricated, and many bike chain lubricants utilize harmful chemicals like PTFE and fossil fuels as ingredients.  These lubricants are usually not biodegradable, and after washing off of people’s bicycles they can end up polluting local waterways and harming plants and animals.

Sam Hopkins realized this was a problem after taking up mountain biking as a hobby.  “I’m squirting lubricant all over my bike, it’s dripping everywhere,” he said. “I live on top of a hill, and all of our rainwater runs down into a pond.  I realized that the next time it rains, all this oil is going to be swept down into this pond.”

A serial inventor, Sam decided to find an alternative.  He happened to have a bottle of lanolin, a natural oil produced by sheep to protect their wool, on hand.  After applying it to his bicycle chain, he found that, “It worked great.  I switched after that first time, and my squeak went away.”  Thus, Eco-Sheep was born.

Pollution from petroleum lubricants for bicycles isn’t a problem that makes headlines, but it’s a real concern:  according to Eco-Sheep’s website, Americans alone use 6.3 million gallons of petroleum oil on their bicycles per year.  Eco-Sheep is an effort to harness the power of free enterprise to achieve a social benefit.

It was this desire to make an impact that led Sam to invest in American Homeowner Preservation.  He was attracted to AHP’s social mission of avoiding foreclosure and keeping families from losing their homes.

“AHP does such a great thing,” Sam said.  “The business model is great…everyone likes to feel good and help people.  Even if I could make the same return somewhere else, I’d rather do it with AHP.”

Sam came across AHP while considering different crowdfunding investment opportunities, real estate in particular.  He invested in several different platforms. “Crowdfunding is  a way to partially buy-in to small real estate entities,” he said.  “And it’s easy access.  You don’t need millions of dollars.  It’s a way to diversify and feel in touch with the properties.”

“AHP is the best of them all,” Sam said of these investments.  “A lot of real estate crowdfunding companies…they’re trying to grow for an IPO, and you end up with a shorter term than you wanted.  Investing in real estate, you want a long-term, low-risk investment.”

Sam plans to invest more into AHP in the near future, and he is expanding the Eco-Sheep product line.  He is utilizing a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign of his own for AquaSheep, a new, water-soluble bike chain lube that makes it easier than ever to clean up old oil.  Funds raised will be for the distribution of this new product, and Sam hopes that it will revolutionize the way cyclists maintain their bikes.

Our world needs more innovators and entrepreneurs like Samuel Hopkins, who care about the social impact of their investments.

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