Products designed to keep alcohol cold — like Bottlekeeper and Beer Blizzard — have a track record of scoring successful deals on ABC's "Shark Tank." That was the case Sunday's episode, when three college kids scored a lucrative deal from Mark Cuban for an invention that keeps entire cases of beer cold.
Teddy Giard, Logan LaMance and Austin Maxwell created the Kanga Kase Mate — an insulated sleeve made to wrap-around a cold case of beer — after finding that other options (like big, heavy coolers) were inconvenient, particularly when they had to lug it around. The Kanga Kase Mate is easy to carry, and is made to keep a case of canned drinks cold for up to seven hours without ice.
The idea for Kanga was actually born from a class assignment. At Clemson University, the friends were tasked with creating a solution for a problem that they faced in real life. Inspiration struck on game day when they were drinking warm beer at a tailgate in Clemson, South Carolina. LaMance thought, why isn't there a can insulator for an entire case of beer, not just a single can? So they created it.
Each of the three entrepreneurs has only invested $833 dollars of their own money into the business. "We're broke college students, we do what we can," LaMance said. (LaMance and Maxwell are recent Clemson graduates, and Giard is still a student.)
"We're swimming in student loans right now..." Maxwell added.
In six months, the business did $103,000 in sales, the entrepreneurs told the Sharks, mainly through their e-commerce site and customer wholesale, for which Kanga partners with other companies to create custom cases. The company also had a purchase order from beer behemoth Anheuser-Busch, for $16,000 for a test market, they said. They were seeking $100,000 in exchange for a 10 percent stake from the Sharks.
"This show, actually, has inspired me to pursue entrepreneurship," Maxwell told the Sharks. "I'm a die-hard fan, I'll be honest I've seen every episode, I've seen your bald head plenty of times, Mr. Wonderful. And I love it."
Maxwell explained that in 2006 he was watching an episode and saw BeatBox Beverages ink a deal with Mark Cuban and got himself a gig with the company.
"I actually called the CEO the night the episode aired, to explain to him how I could provide value to them," Maxwell said. "And I just worked my way up with this company from a customer to a brand ambassador, to an intern. And after turning down multiple engineering offers, I decided to pursue that company full-time."
So it was a full-circle moment for Maxwell to be pitching his own business on "Shark Tank."
Cuban had heard enough and offered the co-founders $100,000 for 20 percent of the company. Without hearing from any of the other sharks, the entrepreneurs immediately accepted.
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Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to ABC's "Shark Tank."