How 5 Guys Turned A Class Project into a Start-Up Company

By: Valeria Ramos

On our fifth Office Chats podcast episode, Logan LaMance and Teddy Giard, founder and co-founder of Kanga Coolers shared how they turned a Clemson University class project into a small business that got them an investment from Mark Cuban on Shark Tank.

The idea for Kanga's Kase Mate, which keeps a case of beer cold for seven hours, came to LaMance where so many great ideas are born - at a tailgate.

"I was drinking warm beer out of a case. I had a Yeti. I spent $300 on a cooler that could keep my beer cold for three weeks but I wouldn't use it for three hours," he said.

Photo (left to right): Teddy Giard, Logan LaMance, and Austin Maxwell pitching their company, Kanga Coolers, on Shark Tank.

Photo (left to right): Teddy Giard, Logan LaMance, and Austin Maxwell pitching their company, Kanga Coolers, on Shark Tank.

Nobody wants to haul a heavy cooler for a mile on a hot day, so this problem led LaMance to create a koozie for an entire case of beer - a solution less expensive and more convenient than a large cooler.

While the five friends behind this solution got a B on their project (which stands for 'beer' according to LaMance), their success pitching in front of the sharks was far greater.

Founder Logan LaMance and co-founders Teddy Giard and Austin Maxwell closed in on a $100,000 deal with Mark Cuban for 20% of their business.

In our podcast, Giard revealed that the Kanga crew had their eye on a partnership with Cuban before heading into the tank.

"We saw the value he could bring from a collegiate licensing standpoint and also with his involvement with Anheuser-Busch," said Giard.

Being that Kanga Coolers was one of the fastest deals made in Shark Tank history, it's safe to say Mark Cuban enjoys a cold beer as much as he does a great investment.

LaMance and Giard shared their hopes to leave an impact for aspiring entrepreneurs and encouraged college students to pursue their business ideas despite any obstacles they might be facing.

“Starting a business in college is, in my opinion, the best time to start a business,” said LaMance. “You don’t have the financial resources but that shouldn’t stop you. You have university resources, mentors, and people who will invest in you. I don’t think money builds great ideas, I think ingenuity, innovation, and drive builds great ideas.”

Photos: @kangacoolers

Kanga’s partnerships with brands like Bud Light and the launch of a fun company reality series called “The Fun Factory” are just a few examples of how we’ve seen this brand grow since Shark Tank.

By creating a great product with an innovative company culture and inspiring college students everywhere, Kanga Coolers is making an impact that goes beyond just keeping our beers cold. Cheers to that.