An entrepreneur’s dream right? Well that’s precisely what happened one year ago to Jen Du , founder of Before Elixir, a new beverage startup here in Austin that recently launched and sold its first bottles online.
One year ago, Jen Du moved to Austin with an idea. Her goal was to make a beverage that prevented people from turning red when consuming alcohol, a problem commonly known as Asian Flush or Alcohol Flush Reaction. But Jen had no funding and no cofounders to help her. “I was brand new to Austin” says Jen, “I didn’t know the scene very well so I reached out to a colleague of mine who told me about meetups in Austin where I might be able to meet people to help me. One of them was Cofounders Austin by TheTechMap.
Jen came to her first Cofounders Austin meetup looking for a cofounder. What she got instead was her first angel investor. “I remember being disappointed because I was looking for a biochemist to help me with beverage formulation. There were many coders and people pitching cool ideas, but zero biochemists in the room!” (go figure…)
While no one in the room was a biochemist, CoFounders Austin draws entrepreneurs and investors of all sorts who have one thing in common: identifying opportunity. One such person connected Jen to colleague named David that just so happened to be the Department Chair of Medical Sciences at a local college. David was immediately drawn to Jen’s idea, and recognizing the market potential, gave her the seed capital she needed to develop Before Elixir.
Jen says, “Over the last year, I’ve used the funds to develop and test various ingredients to create our formula. David helped ensure my methodology was sound. Then I tested it to make sure it worked. And it does very well!” According to the company’s studies, Before Elixir works on 90% of people and reduces flushing by over 60%.
While the funding has gotten Jen this far, she still needs more to meet minimum run requirements and to distribute her beverage. To raise this money she is turning to Indiegogo.
Before Elixir’s crowdfunding campaign launches on Indiegogo today to raise money to produce its first 50,000 bottles. Jen is hoping that a successful crowdfunding campaign will not only help raise the money needed to produce and distribute the beverage, but also gain the company national exposure. “Right now our customers don’t know about us yet and I’m hoping that the campaign and tasting parties we’re throwing will change that.”
For those interested in taking their business idea or their startup to the next level, come join us at the next CoFounders Austin and be our next success story!