TITAN Mixer Bottle
Nationwide and BlueVine’s Pitch to Win Contest Third Prize Winner
TITAN Mixer Bottle co-founders Gered and Fred Bowman receive their check for $10,000 from Nationwide Property & Casualty President and COO Mark Berven and BlueVine Founder and CEO Eyal Lifshitz.
Nationwide and BlueVine partnered on a contest for small business owners called Pitch to Win. The goal is to help owners with compelling concepts take their businesses to the next level. In June, owners entered the contest before submitting a video pitch in August. In October, finalists pitched live at Nationwide's headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.
Although Nationwide and BlueVine’s Pitch to Win contest hosted small businesses from all over the country, one finalist felt right at home. TITAN Mixer Bottle, based in Columbus, Ohio, took their third-place winnings of $10,000 straight to the bank less than ten miles away. The company makes a no-battery, no-shake mixer bottle, which creates a smooth and consistent protein shake. The patented bottle contains 8 oz. of supplement storage, holds 20 oz. of water, and easily separates for cleaning. Co-founders Fred and Gered Bowman are workout enthusiasts with Industrial Design degrees from Ohio State University who uncovered a problem that they had both the skills and the passion to solve.
“We love to work out and after our workouts, we used a traditional protein shaker bottle to mix and drink our protein supplements," Fred explained. "Unfortunately, we had become extremely frustrated with all the cheap shaker bottles that did a horrible job at mixing supplements. So we began designing a solution.”
Fred came up with the idea while working out at the OSU gym. He recalled, “One morning when I was about to mix my protein shake with a traditional shaker bottle I thought to myself, 'There has to be a better way to mix protein than the way everyone else is doing it.' The next day, I made a rough prototype using an old shaker bottle and I added a pump handle with a blade. I showed my brother Gered and he was amazed at how well it worked. So that year at OSU we decided to start our own Design firm with three other Industrial design students: Mohamed Rage, Adan Ali, and Lonie Smith. We then used our design skills to refine the idea.”
A year and a half later, after "numerous hours of ideation and different prototypes," the team completed a successful Kickstarter campaign, raising $66,694 from over 2,000 backers. They conducted surveys at the school, and found that their belief in the TITAN bottle was reflected by respondents.
The “TITAN Twins”, as they refer to themselves, also had the good fortune of having Dr. Noel Mayo as their professor and mentor. Mayo has written his way into the history books as the first African American graduate to receive a B.S. degree in Industrial Design from the Philadelphia College of Art in 1960. He then went on to become the owner and president of Noel Mayo Associates, Inc., the first African American industrial design firm in the U.S. Drawing from his own entrepreneurial experience as the inventor of the movable light switch, Mayo taught the twins design at OSU and advised them on the product.
Dr. Noel Mayo, Professor Emeritus, Ohio State University
Asked about what makes TITAN Mixer Bottle unique, Fred said, “We are the world’s first protein mixer bottle that doesn’t require shaking or batteries. It utilizes our patented TITAN blade, which when pumped up and down, creates a vortex that cuts through clumps of protein leaving you with a smooth and consistent protein shake.”
In comparison to the market leaders, Fred and Gered are proud that their product is made with a safe, durable material and is odor resistant. Other shaker bottles are often made of cheap plastic with a ball inside and develop unpleasant odors due to inefficient cleaning. Additionally, they may emit toxic chemicals.
The TITAN Mixer Bottle
In five to ten years, the brothers hope to build a multi-million-dollar business on these advantages, and they are confident that they have a product that many others will want. With the prize money, they intend to look at getting the product produced in central Ohio, rather than China.
“We believe in creating American jobs that is our number one priority!” Fred said.
For TITAN Mixer Bottle to sell to big box retailers, they need the ability to fulfill large quantity orders. Eventually, they hope to produce a larger version of the bottle, and even expand into other athletic products. Potential future ventures include different tools and fitness equipment, athletic apparel, and possibly becoming a supplement provider. The twins pointed to Under Armour as a model, which started manufacturing t-shirts before expanding into many athletic products.
The TITAN Twins exhibit their TITAN Mixer Bottles during Pitch to Win
When asked for advice for entrepreneurs starting out, Fred said, “Surround yourself with players with skill sets different than yours. Also, validate the product with testing to see what others think.”
Asked if there was anything he would do differently, Gered said, “I would take a business course in college.”
Despite lack of a business background, the TITAN Twins have built a company from the ground up, and they are finally starting to see the results they’ve worked so hard for. They may not have traveled far to find success this time, but Columbus is just the first stop for TITAN Mixer Bottle.