Four years since its conception — and dozens of prototypes later — Max Feber’s company, BRUW, made its way on to Shark Tank earlier this week. In front of thousands of viewers, 19-year-old Feber kept his cool while presenting his cold brew coffee filter company to the Sharks. Thanks to his relentless entrepreneurial spirit and knowledge procured during his short time at Babson College, Feber fielded every question expertly — and accepted a deal of $50,000 for 30% of his company.
A BUSINESS BRUWs
BRUW got its start in 2015 when Feber was only 15. It was the year he discovered coffee and fell in love. From there it was off to the coffee shops to try every type of coffee he could get his hands on. Then he stumbled upon cold brew.
“I couldn’t find a good way to make cold brew coffee at home,” Feber tells Poets&Quants for Undergrads. “I roamed online and finally found a way that uses mason jars and cheesecloth, but it turned out to be extremely messy.”
To put it mildly, his parents weren’t thrilled.
“I knew there had to be an easier way,” Feber continues. “So I decided to make my own version of a cold brew filter. What eventually became BRUW started from screen door material.”
After rounds and rounds of prototypes, the current BRUW is made with a plastic rim with a mesh interior and a long plastic straw. For the full effect, you need two mason jars, your favorite ground coffee, water, and the BRUW. Fill one of the mason jars with your desired amount of coffee grounds, fill it with cold water, and screw on the lid. Place it in the fridge for 18 to 24 hours. Then remove from the fridge, take off the lid, and replace it with the BRUW, straw side down. After this, twist the other mason jar to the opposite side of the BRUW and shake and flip. The coffee filters through the BRUW and within minutes you have a refreshing glass of cold brew coffee.
BABSON MEANS BUSINESS
Before Feber appeared on Shark Tank, he attended Babson College. There, he started his Bachelors of Science, specifically the Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship (FME) program, which helps students create businesses. For Feber, Babson was the perfect place to reach his goals.
“I was impressed by the way they approach business and entrepreneurship,” Feber says. “They are doing a great job at staying current and aware of the changing business world.”
Feber is only in his sophomore year at Babson, but the college is already helping him reach his full potential. “Babson has such a strong program,” details Feber. “You create a legitimate business and try and sell your product. It’s about as real as it gets.”
SWIMMING WITH THE SHARKS
In early 2018, Babson turned his business goals to Shark Tank. He had watched the show since he was eight, and knew it could give BRUW the boost it needed. After several rounds of interviews, he made it to the main stage. During his session, he received several offers, but ultimately went with the $50,000 and 30% ownership deal from Mark Cuban.
“I was so excited, It was the best feeling ever,” Feber says of the experience. “I couldn’t have been able to do it without my amazing parents and Babson.”
READY FOR THE TANK
Feber looks to Babson for much of his success on Shark Tank: “We did all of these presentations for classes. Your professors really prepare you for rigorous investors.”
Thanks to what he learned in his program, Feber kept practicing his pitch over and over. He constantly went over his answers in his head. He knew his business stats backwards and forwards. “Babson prepared me for everything they [the Sharks] threw at me,” he acknowledges.
Feber doesn’t stop there. He went on gushing about his college: “Babson is ranked #1 for entrepreneurship but there are lots of other business schools ranked higher than us in business. Judge us by the alumni we put out, not by any other metric. If you look at the amount of Babson grads (and current students) that have either appeared on Shark Tank, had a 10-figure exit, or launched a business that’s now a household name, I think that other business schools frankly aren’t competitive. Babson is the right school for anyone wanting to make it as an entrepreneur.”
Thanks to Babson and the recent stint on Shark Tank, BRUW has been brewing up plenty of business. The episode aired last Sunday at 9 p.m. on January 6, and instantly orders came pouring in. “We exploded overnight after Shark Tank,” explains Feber. “I’ve been getting Facebook comments, tweeted at, and watching order after order come in.”
To sum up the whole experience in Feber’s own words: “Everything’s amazing.”