Mix Mat News

Big things have been happening over at Mix Mat. CEO Alex Van Dewark won a competition with our Mix Mat idea and we’ve partnered with Next Step Ministries to begin our philanthropic outreach initiatives.

Mix Mat Wins Prestigious Entrepreneur Competition

Recently Alex Van Dewark entered the Mix Mat into Chico State’s Center for Entrepreneurship competition and one. From there he took his idea up against the winners of four other participating California college campuses  in the Future Four Business Competition. Four schools and their business concept competition winners competed for over $8,500 in cash prizes, if front of a panel of highly experienced and powerful panel of judges- and Alex and the Mix Mat took first prize. For this he received $1,500 in cash and a scholarship (worth $6,500 ) to the entrepreneurial school, Bootup academy.

“BootUp is more than just a classroom, it is a complete, global startup ecosystem designed to create better entrepreneurs and accelerate their companies. They help entrepreneurs accomplish their startup goals by providing shared services including legal, accounting, event hosting and video production, plus a place to call home in the heart of Silicon Valley; startup best practices; mentoring with serial entrepreneurs; hands-on consulting; market access and funding.”

You can read more about this competition and BootUp here:



In the video below you can see Alex talking a bit at 2:34 and then again being awarded at the end around 5:45.

Mix Mats for Disaster Relief – We Need Your Help

Mix Mat has recently partnered with Next Step Ministries and is sending Mix Mats to be used on location at mission sites around the world dedicated to building and rebuilding the communities of those in need and that have been affected by disaster. Our mission is to to provide an affordable yet indispensable tool to the people on the ground trying to help. When projects are finished and the relief crews are leaving, the Mix Mats will be left for the locals to continue using so that they may continue to improve and upkeep their infrastructures. In relation to the kind of work Next Step is doing and how our Mix Mat will be used, Next Step provided us with these figures:

Next Step Ministry currently work in 16 different communities around the world

  • Most of our Domestic sites use concrete in small batches
    Uses of concrete are primarily for wheel chair ramps and decks
    We have however poured as many as 30 yards but those were ready mix trucks
    We have poured anywhere from 4-6 yards that was all mixed by hand
    Mainly for sidewalks, but we have mixed Foundation footers before
  • Our 3 International sites mix  a lot of Concrete, we do many full builds that include:
    Concrete Foundations
    Mortar for block
    Core filling of Concrete block
    Our primary method there is to mix by hand on the ground, typically called the “Volcano style”, and we like this method because we can mix a lot of concrete at one time. I have calculated that we can mix about 1/3 to a 1/2 yard of concrete per Volcano batch. We usually have 3 batches simultaneously for our big pours. Buckets are used to transport the mixed concrete
  • Next Step is primarily a volunteer organization
    this year we plan to have 7,000 students work with us
    They perform 99% of all the work we do.
    They perform all types of construction except for skilled trades such as electrical, plumbing, and HVAC
    we have a small team of Construction Professionals that does this work

After using our Mix Mats at mission sites in West Virginia and New Mexico, Next Step Ministry contacted us and purchased 30 Mix Mats to be used on their mission trips and then turned over to the people afterwards. Our goal is to continue this tradition of donating and sharing Mix Mats to help those in need. We are currently in the planning process of getting Mix Mats to areas in need of disaster relief, such as post earthquake Nepal. You can help us get this ball rolling by liking and sharing our Facebook page and visiting the Mix Mat website http://www.themixmat.com/ where you can buy Mix Mats or donate them through our website to causes like the Nepal Earthquake.


Our Latest Custom Homes


Welcome inside one of our most recently completed custom homes. Located in the Vacaville hills this home is surrounded by breath taking views and was designed to not only maximize the vistas but to be functional and comfortable. Everything was taken into consideration during the design process of this home. The owners relocated to Vacaville to be closer to family but also wanted to enjoy the moderate climate. Their goal was to have more storage and land to create privacy and maintain a peaceful atmosphere, but they also wanted less square footage than their previous home in order to make up-keep easier and be more efficient. So from the location of the garage to the placement of the windows every inch of this home was designed to be 100% what the client wanted and needed.


One of the most important concepts in designing this home was that we were downsizing square footage for the owners- not storage and accessibility. Excess space needed to be discarded without sacrificing personality and purpose with it. With this in mind we designed an open airy floor plan that felt large but still designated purpose.


The front door opens up immediately into a living area, but by creating some spacial symmetry, we managed to create a music room and dining room before you’ve even made it past the entry way.  We accomplished this by using a combination of wood floors to connect the kitchen to the dining room, tile in the entry way, and carpet in the music room along with a smartly placed pair of french doors. By breaking up the literal flooring it gave us the freedom to divvy up a large space and turn it into several smaller spaces without making it feel cramped or confusing. Every room has it’s purpose.

KAN_0454Moving in to the living and Kitchen area, we used the bar to create a separation of space without building walls. When paired with the pendant lights hanging above the bar we were able to create spacial awareness without closing anything off. This keeps the flow open and allows for the abundant light to pour in from all angles while also still providing the storage and counter space desired in the kitchen. The hard wood floor runs concurrently through the living, kitchen and dining rooms as well as the hall ways to create a natural flow throughout the house.


The breakfast nook is one of our favorite features because it’s a great example of how we designed the home to bring the natural light and beauty in. As was mentioned, the windows let in the natural light from outside, but they also look out on the land that first attracted our clients to this location in the first place. Custom homes should always be built to highlight the positive qualities of the location. What good is it building a home for the views if you’re going to end up looking at your neighbors yard, or a storage area?


A lot of attention went into the smaller details as well. All of the fixtures, lighting, hardware, paint colors, cabinetry, and materials were selected to create a consistent atmosphere throughout the home. Warm colors and earth tones were very popular with the owners so we sought to incorporate them every where we could.

KAN_0483Moving around to the pack of the house, this porch was built to frame the same amazing view the breakfast nook looks out on. Because of the location, summers do get up into the triple digits, so we worked to build a patio that would stay cool and protected from the elements without hindering the view. There’s also a walkway that wraps around the entire property, which is useful in the country for staying out of the mud during the rainy season.

Full House EditThe same consideration led to the design of the garage. The walk way that wraps around the house connects to a breezeway between the main house and the garage. This area makes a great shady space for the dog. It protects him from the elements while also keeping his house and toys out of sight. Creating a breezeway here also solved the issue of unloading vehicles in the rain. It’s position in relation to the house provides privacy and function without hiding the view, and also will help to keep things cool in the summertime. The garage is also large in comparison to the main house. This goes back to the original idea that the owners wanted more storage and function with less upkeep. By smartly positioning the garage and home within the lot all of these things were achieved, the location was used to its full potential, and the owners have themselves a brand new completely custom home that fits their needs.