If you can keep a canned beverage chilled with an insulated sleeve like a Koozie, what’s to stop you from insulating an entire case with one big fabric container? That’s the concept behind the Kanga Kase Mate, a product designed by a trio of entrepreneurs on an upcoming episode of “Shark Tank” airing Sunday, April 7, at 10:00pm.
Severna Park High School alumnus Teddy Giard (class of 2017) and Broadneck High School alumnus Austin Maxwell (class of 2013) joined their Clemson University classmate Logan LeMance in the entrepreneurial endeavor that was inspired by the great college pastime of tailgating.
Giard recalled how he saw tailgaters opting not to carry around bulky coolers and instead leaving their cases of soda and beer out on the pavement, where they got hot in less than an hour under the South Carolina sun. “If you have a Koozie for a can, why can’t you have a Koozie for an entire case?” Giard said. “Lo and behold, that’s how we came up with our idea.”
The students created a design and paid $45 to have a prototype made at a small cut-and-sew shop. Within two months of coming up with the idea, they had established a company, Kanga, and dubbed their first product the Kase Mate, marketed as an iceless cooler that keeps drinks cold up to seven hours. Within the company, Giard serves as head of branding and Maxwell serves as head of sales.
The opportunity to go on “Shark Tank” arose when the three young entrepreneurs found out about an open call being held in Atlanta. Even though it was the Sunday before finals week, the three of them made the trek out to Georgia and, with the help of their loyal Instagram followers who digitally expressed their support, caught the attention of the judges.
Giard wasn’t at liberty to share how he and his business partners fared on the show – audiences will have to tune in to find out – but he did share a bit of business wisdom. “The biggest thing I learned from the experience is … if you have an idea and want to do it, when you have a desire to do something, people will stick out their hands to help you.”
“Shark Tank” airs at 10:00pm on Sunday, April 7, on ABC. Learn more about Kanga and buy a Kase Mate by visiting www.buykanga.com.