What do you get when you combine two engineers who geeek out about IPAs?
Back in 2001, when Philip Petracca and David McDonald met, they had spent their careers at technology companies—and nerded out about beer on the side. When they met through work, the home-craft brewers became fast friends.
Philip says, “I’m a huge beer geek with a true passion for big flavored beers and the craft community—a community that’s both experimental and experiential.”
And experiment they did. Over a draft beer at their local brewpub, the friends were stumped by a common problem, Philip says. “I asked Dave, ‘Why does beer taste so good fresh from the brewers tap, but doesn’t taste nearly as good from a can, bottle or growler?’ And, so, the Fizzics journey began.”
To bring a better tasting brew to beer lovers everywhere, they experimented with draft pouring technology. After “more failures than one can count,” according to their website, they discovered a pouring method that distributes the bubbles on the head of a beer in the most pleasing way possible.
Normally, when pouring from a bottle into a pint glass, the bubbles at the top are large, upsetting your trigeminal nerve—which is beer geek for “bad mouth feel.” Using sound waves, they discovered a way to evenly distribute small bubbles, making the head as delicious and satisfying as possible.
At the Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival, Fizzics had a long line to try their product—and the seal of approval from brewers themselves. But they needed funding to take the idea even further.
“We chose Indiegogo because it was the best possible platform for us to connect directly to contributors and beer lovers at such an early stage of our development,” Philip says. “By working with this community, we were able to get real-time feedback on product features, design, the marketing message, and get valuable data on the pricing elasticity of the product.”
In the end, they were glad they chose Indiegogo. The team raised 333% of their original goal for a total of $252,398. “The response was overwhelming. We not only found an audience for our product, but we also found a community of people who are really passionate about beer in the same way we are.”
Not only did Fizzics find funding through Indiegogo, but the team also found a way to distribute their groundbreaking product. “Indiegogo was instrumental in helping us secure our first national retail partner,” Philip says. “Indiegogo provided an introduction to the team at Brookstone in the summer of 2015, just a couple of months after we launched our campaign. We were able to present our product, and accelerated the process of bringing our product to market and into the hands of beer-lovers just in time for the 2015 holiday season.”
Using crowdfunding and that big win with Brookstone, Fizzics proved they could manage their risks in development, production and marketing. As a result, they scaled their product at leading national retailers such as Best Buy, Target and Amazon. Now, they have eight beer-loving employees, and they’ve been featured on CNET, Elite Daily, The Beer Connoisseur and more. You can also tune in and watch them on “Shark Tank” on September 23rd from 9:00-10:00p.m., ET/PT on ABC!
As excited as they are for their own future, Fizzics is grateful for their backers and cheering on the future of the crowdfunding community. “We’ve seen a lot of growth on the Indiegogo platform and we’ve seen a lot of maturity in the analytics platform, which has been very helpful,” Philip says. “We are so grateful for the support we received from the crowdsourcing community, and we are living ‘The American Dream.”
To other potential entrepreneurs, their story might sound familiar: “We’ve spent our careers working at early stage companies and startups, essentially realizing other people’s dreams,” Philip says. “We came across a product and technology we were truly passionate about, and we wanted to bring this to the community and to beer lovers everywhere.”
From Perks-Based Success to Equity Crowdfunding
Fast forward to February 2017. Philip and David had raised more than $1.5M across two hugely successful crowdfunding campaigns on both Indiegogo and Kickstarter and were featured on ABC’s Shark Tank. Fizzics products could be found in retailers nationwide. As the next step in their journey, Philip and David launched an equity crowdfunding campaign on First Democracy VC, Indiegogo’s new joint venture with MicroVentures. Now anyone can invest in Fizzics and participate in their potential growth until April 7, 2017. Learn more about your chance to be a part of this growing company’s journey.
If you’ve been realizing other people’s dreams, aren’t you ready to try your own? Customers and backers might be waiting for something just like your product, and your community might be just as excited about your idea as you are. Dive in with crowdfunding to test the waters and perfect your campaign along the way, just like Fizzics. It all starts with passion—share yours on Indiegogo.