Kanga is a company owned by five college friends: Logan LaMance, Austin Maxwell, Ryan Frazier, Kyle Self and Teddy Giard. They will be appearing on tonight’s episode of Shark Tank in attempt to gain investors and expand their business.
Kanga’s main product is the Kase Mate, which is an iceless cooler designed to fit around an entire case. The Kanga website states that the Kase Mate can keep drinks cool up to seven hours. Read on to learn more about the company and its plans for the future.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Kanga Sells Koozies That Hold Entire Cases of Beverages
Kanga’s Kase Mate can fit 12 and 24 packs of beer, and reportedly weighs 45 pounds less than the average cooler. There are several different design options offered for the Kase Mate, including an American star pattern known as “The Maverick” and a Hawaiian pattern dubbed “The Kanaloa.” Each cost $29.95.
On the Kanga website, the founders detail the thought process that went into making the Kase Mate. “We didn’t use our coolers because we didn’t want to have to deal with ice and hauling the huge thing all the way to our tailgate a mile from where we parked,” they recalled. “So, instead, we stopped by the convenience store, grabbed a cold case, and just carried it with us to drink it as it got warm. We found our problem… Warm… Beer… Sucks!”
Kase Mates are made out of “scuba foam” material, and co-owner Logan LaMance recently said that he has plans to patent the material. He has also copyrighted the slogan “Kooler than a cooler.”
2. Kanga Kase Mate Started Out As a Class Project at Clemson University
During an interview with Greenville News, LaMance recounted the origins of the Kase Mate. He said that it came about while he was earning his business degree at Clemson University. “I saw somebody put a beer in a koozie, and I thought ‘Wow! You can take a beer from something that makes it cold and put it into something to keep it cold,’ ” LaMance said. Inspired to create a device that kept entire cases of beer cold, he partnered with four friends to build it for a class project.
While LaMance only received a B for the project, he was convinced that he had a viable moneymaker on his hands, and set out to manufacture and market it. “I’ve seen tons of other ideas to keep beer cold, but nothing like this,” he said. “This all revolves around using the case and original packaging.”
LaMance, along with Maxwell, Frazier, Self and Giard, tinkered with their original design, and got it to the point where it would keep drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) cold for longer periods of time. They received the additional funding needed through a Kickstarter campaign.
3. They’ve Already Landed Sponsorship Deals with Home Depot & Bud Light
According to Capital Gazette, Kanga has already landed a sponsorship with Bud Light, along with partnerships with Home Depot and Wicked Weed Brewing. They are now working on custom designs for Bud Light, and are in negotiation with other breweries to sell a line of themed Kase Mates that can be purchased online. Their reach, as far as retail stores are concerned, currently sits at 40 locations.
“We intend to use the exposure to move our operations and open an office,” said Austin Maxwell. “We will launch other products in line with this mission, but right now our focus is on a product we believe fills a consumer niche. In addition to be a co-founder, Maxwell is the company’s head of sales. He graduated from Clemson University with a degree in industrial engineering, and previously served as an ambassador for Chubbies Shorts, Old Row and Coast Apparel.
“Since graduating, Austin decided that as an adult he wanted a more stable income, with reasonable hours, and good healthcare,” the Kanga website reads. “So Inherently…he joined a startup. Now his focus lies on ridding the world of warm beverages (beer) from sea to shining sea.”
4. LaMance, Maxwell & Giard Will Be the Owners Pitching on Shark Tank
While Kanga is run by five co-owners, only three of them; LaMance, Maxwell, and Teddy Giard, will be appearing on Shark Tank. LaMance is the company’s CEO, and according to his bio page, he graduated from Clemson University with a business degree. He’s described as “an experienced entrepreneur” who has built, managed, and grown several business throughout college. LaMance’s bio also states that he directly oversees product development and the testing of new modifications.
Giard is Kanga’s head of branding. He is currently a sophomore at Clemson University, and is described as “an experienced videographer, photographer, and thrill seeker.” Giard has done freelance work for organizations like Southern Tide, Special Olympics, and Clemson, and is Kanga’s youngest co-founder. His father Edward Giard is a consumer product executive who also serves as an advisory board member for the rest of the team.
Ryan Frazier is the company’s head of finance, while Kyle Self wears multiple hats as Kanga’s Head of Digital Marketing, Website Creation and Management, and Graphic Designer.
5. They Want to Partner With a Shark Tank Investor to Speed Up Their Growith
LaMance says that he wants to partner with a Shark Tank investor so that Kanga can expand their visibility throughout the country and expedite their growth. He said that once he found out their company had been selected to appear on the show, the team set about watching all the previous episodes. They even studied the tendencies of the show’s panel of “sharks”, which includes Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, Lori Greiner and Barbara Corcoran.
“I really can’t remember what happened, so I’m looking forward to watching it too to see,” LaMance said after the show was taped. “It was fun, lighthearted and hopefully inspirational…. They gave us great suggestions and great feedback.” As far as what the future holds for Kanga, LaMance said that he will only focus on what he can control.
“The first step is to move out of my parents’ basement; the second is to get an office and treat it like a business; and it’s time to make a bunch of money off it,” he revealed. “It’s a huge fit in so many areas.”