Alums Featured in LMU College of Business Article
Pounding headache. Extreme thirst. Cycles of nausea. These are all symptoms of a typical hangover that can sometimes ruin a person’s entire day. It’s surprising, given the popularity of drinking, that a magic pill or potion hasn’t been created to alleviate the side effects of too much booze. Three recent LMU graduates, determined to end their own debilitating hangovers once and for all, set out to find a solution to a problem that has plagued the lives of young professionals and college students everywhere.
Liquid I.V. is a specially formulated all-natural rehydration beverage that alleviates the worst hangover. Utilizing Oral Rehydration Therapy – a specific blend of glucose and electrolytes clinically proven to rehydrate the body at a rate similar to an I.V. – world-class athletes, military personnel and jet-lagged travelers have begun using Liquid I.V. as a healthier, more dynamic alternative to leading sports drinks. With less than half the sugar and four times the electrolytes of Gatorade, Liquid I.V. is the optimal choice for intense rehydration. It contains no artificial sweeteners, preservatives, food coloring, or GMOS and is 100% all natural. Additionally, there are added vitamins, minerals, and herbal remedies that help the body eliminate toxins.
Liquid I.V.’s three co-founders and longtime friends – Brandin Cohen, Hayden Fulstone and Cameron Killeen – came up with the idea in the fall of 2012 and have been busy making it a reality ever since. The idea originated, appropriately, in Las Vegas, a city that’s no stranger to hangovers. Killeen and a few of his co-workers were feeling a little sluggish after a night of drinking when one of them pulled out a bottle of Pedialyte. When Killeen asked about the strange substance, one of the co-workers said it really helped with curing a hangover. Several hundred miles away in Arizona, Cohen started noticing that pro athletes were also drinking Pedialyte as an alternative to Gatorade. The three friends put their heads together and realized that what was missing was a beverage made for adults that could act as a hangover remedy by rehydrating the body in the healthiest way possible. And with that, they got to work.
“We spent endless hours researching and testing different combinations of ingredients. Once we found the exact formula we were looking, we brought on a food chemist to finalize our proprietary blend,” said Fulstone.
Cohen, Fulstone and Killeen are ideal business partners, with their diverse professional backgrounds and unique skill sets. Cohen, who previously worked for the Major League Baseball Arizona Diamondbacks as a sales, marketing and branding expert, is focused on the professional athlete ambassador program, new business development, and the overarching brand of the company. Fulstone is in charge of the college ambassador program, the company’s main distribution channel to virally spread Liquid I.V. throughout campuses nationwide. He also handles all PR and communications. Killeen, whose background is in financial analysis and investment management, focuses on the sales and distribution, operations, and finance for the company.
The recently-launched Business Incubator in the College of Business Administration also had a hand in helping to grow the company. Dr. David Choi assigned five students from his class last spring to work on Liquid I.V., and help the company spread the word around campus.
“We really appreciate all of the help and support from Dr. Choi and the LMU Incubator. It was an integral part of our initial growth,” said Fulstone. “Dr. Choi often brought in successful entrepreneurs whose business expertise we applied to our business model.”
Liquid I.V. is now available as an Emergen-C style powder packet. These packets can be purchased online as part of a recurring monthly subscription plan: www.Liquid-IV.com. Liquid I.V. bottles will be on shelves of local grocers, liquor stores, health stores, workout studios and gyms around LMU. With initial sales data to show traction, the company has high interest from a large hotel chain for a deal to put Liquid I.V. in mini bars up and down the Las Vegas Strip.
In the meantime, the campus ambassador program will recruit competitively-selected college students to spread brand awareness through their social networks with emphasis on increasing powder packet subscriptions. Similarly, the athlete ambassador program brings on professional athletes to push the subscription for its performance and recovery characteristics.Ryan Wheeler, former LMU baseball player and current third baseman for the Colorado Rockies, is a partner in the company. Through Wheeler and his unique platform, the company has been able to leverage other professional athletes to use the product and spread it to their large following.
For such a new product with minimal advertising and promotion, Liquid I.V. is quickly making a name for itself in the LA area. In the last five weeks the company has raised over $125,000 in seed capital and is currently negotiating a licensing deal with a prolific distributor in the U.K. and Europe.
“The support from the LMU community has been tremendous, and we can’t tell you how much it means to us,” said Fulstone. “Anyone who likes us on Facebook and follows us on Instagram and Twitter will receive six free powder packets in the mail as part of our monthly subscription program.” #LIVitup