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In this episode of Hunting Influence, Aaron is joined by Austin Maxwell, Co-Founder at Kanga Coolers, joins the Hunting Influence Podcast to share Kanga Coolers’ origin story, the Shark Tank experience, and their relationship with the shark that did the deal: Mark Cuban.

Key facts

  • Austin’s LinkedIn
  • Kanga Coolers website
  • Kanga Coolers was featured on Shark Tank (season 10)
  • Austin started his entrepreneurial journey at thirteen years of age 

Key takeaways

  • Austin is an Industrial Engineering graduate from Clemson University
  • Austin learned sales skills from odd jobs he used to do during his vacations
  • Austin shares that his working experience at Barstool Sports and Beatbox Beverages helped him learn the art of selling and entrepreneurship 
  • In spring 2017, Austin and his four friends founded Kanga as a result of a class project at Clemson University
  • The class project that resulted in the invention of Kanga Coolers required Austin and his friends to come up with a solution that solves real-life problems. For this project, Austin and his team focused on the issue that “many people have to drink warm beer while traveling, due to the less portable nature and costliness of coolers.”
  • Austin’s project idea was to provide the world with a chilled beer at all times through offering portable and cost-effective coolers
  • Logan LaMance, Founder and CEO of The Kanga Coolers, came up with the idea of the no-ice cooler that they launched in 2018
  • Austin Maxwell, Logan LaMance, Teddy Giard presented The Kanga on Shark Tank (season 10) in April 2019, where they accepted a deal with Mark Cuban, $100,000 for 20 percent equity
  • With the seed money, Austin and his team decided to rebrand and add more features to the Kanga Coolers in spring 2020. They worked on updating their logo, graphics, shape, size, and other features of the cooler
  • After his graduation, Austin continued to do a 9-5 job until their company was able to generate enough profits to run their operation 
  • Since the inception of Kanga Coolers, Austin and his team have focused on different strategies to increase Kanga Coolers sales. These initiatives included customizing the size and design of the cases to attract different audiences 
  • The Kanga Coolers earned $103,000 in the six months following its appearance on Shark Tank
  • Austin believes that the best time for an entrepreneur to start a business is his/her student life, where they do not have to worry about other expenses in life 
  • Kanga Coolers’ team had to go through an extensive assessment process to get on Shark Tank
  • Austin is a big fan of Shark Tank and acknowledges that Kanga Cooler’s appearance on the show played a vital role in helping him become a full-time entrepreneur
  • Austin believes in teamwork and always brainstorms with any decision and innovation with his entire team before implementation for better results
  • The year after featuring on the Shark Tank,  Kanga Coolers experienced a rise in demand, which required the team to work 24/7 on orders fulfillment 
  • With increased demand, Austin worked on refining supply chain operations, manufacturing facilities, and recruitment 
  • As well as upgrading their operations, Austin simultaneously worked on improving his website’s interface, shipping time, and social media marketing strategy 
  • In the next five years, Austin plans to expand Kanga Cooler’s product line 

Quick-Fire Round

Austin’s morning ritual
  • Austin wakes up at six in the morning, does yoga regularly, eats a healthy breakfast, and gets into work on time every day.
Austin’s favorite resource
Austin’s favorite alcoholic beverage
Austin’s favorite place
Austin’s favorite brand
Austin’s advice for young entrepreneurs
  • Austin advises young entrepreneurs to “start their entrepreneurial journey asap” so that you can get enough time to explore all the business possibilities before life’s responsibilities kick in 
Key resources
Quotes

“Pursue a career of choice and do not come under the sway of society.”

“Get on to the entrepreneurial roller coaster ASAP, before life’s responsibilities overwhelm you.”

Austin Maxwell
Co-Founder of Kanga Coolers

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