INnovators Segment - Gerry Dick Show (Indianapolis)
We were fortunate enough to be featured on the INnovators segment on the Gerry Dick show on WFYI. Dr. K, head of the entrepreneurial program at Indiana University, interviewed us asking about our progress, goals, and path forward.
We discuss our argon wine preserver, the customers we are helping and hope to help in the future.
We greatly appreciated the insights and meeting new friends. The full video can be found here:
Gerry Dick: A Purdue grad has developed an innovation that keeps open unfinished bottles of wine fresh for weeks. Sound too good to be true? Let's find out in The INnovators with Dr. K. Dr. K, take it away.
Dr. K: Thank you, Gerry. As you mentioned, this Purdue engineer has given us something really fabulous, an innovation in the wine industry, and I think it is really good and it is true. So I'm pleased to welcome Ryan Fredericks, the founder of ArT Wine Preserver. Ryan, welcome to the show.
Ryan Frederickson: Yeah, thanks for having me on today.
Dr. K: It's great to have you. As I always do, I'll ask this question at the beginning. Where did you come up with this idea?
Ryan Frederickson: It kind of was, as many innovations are, a need-based innovation. I graduated college and started to enjoy wine, enjoying the way that you can explore the world through wine and all the different varietals. But one of the things I found was that you end up staring at a bottle with five glasses of wine in it, and if it's a Tuesday you have to make it into work the next day. So with wine spoiling as quickly as three days, I kind of needed something that let me not have to commit to the whole thing in one go.
Dr. K: What's the innovation behind this that actually helps with this?
Ryan Frederickson: The name is actually ArT, it stands for argon technology. I was actually an engineer in the argon industry doing anti-oxidation applications, so the thing that makes wine spoil is oxygen. So what we do is we actually use a gas called argon that's kind of like a filler gas, to displace that oxygen and create a protective layer above the wine. So you spray ArT into the bottle for one to two seconds and it will actually create a protective layer above the wine, sealing in the flavors and the aromas.
Dr. K: Fantastic, so what's the potential market for something like this, Ryan?
Ryan Frederickson: It's pretty big, we estimate one to two billion dollars of wine that are dumped every year.
Dr. K: Wow.
Ryan Frederickson: Part of the motivation for actually doing this was seeing all the hard work on the West Coast that they're doing to make this wine, and then realizing that there's a lot of it that ends up down the drain at restaurants. People who are like myself, living alone and needing help with saving the leftovers.
Dr. K: Sure, sure. What are some potential capital funding sources you might be looking at?
Ryan Frederickson: Right now, we are friends and family, founder-funded, bootstrapped if you will, but to really go to our next step, to serve our customers better, we will be raising a seed round with angel and angel syndicate groups. (NOTE: No solicitation of securities is offered to viewers)
Dr. K: Excellent. Where do you see the growth potential of this?
Ryan Frederickson: Like I said, there is about one to two billion dollars of wine that's dumped down the drain every year, so we're hoping that in kind of doing a top-down where we're going to wine professionals, that are opening up many bottles of wine, they're trying to sell the wine and represent their brands, we're hoping that if we go straight to them first and say, "Hey, here's a tool for you to use, it's going to save you money and give you something that will add value to your customers," that we can go from that perspective and eventually work our way direct to consumers that are going to be able to find this useful in the same way that I did when I developed it.
Dr. K: Great, because I was going to say eventually this can go right to consumers, can't it?
Ryan Frederickson: Yeah, it can right now.
Dr. K: That's fantastic. Describe your next steps in the year ahead.
Ryan Frederickson: In the year ahead, we're trying to expand our distribution network and the people, the wine professionals we're helping outside of just the Midwest. We have a good crew here but trying to make it to the Coasts, the East and West Coasts, really pushing the next generation of the product which will involve taking our patent pending and trying to develop to the point where we can actually get a full patent on the next generation of this.
Dr. K: Great. That's great.
Ryan Frederickson: Yeah.
Dr. K: Excellent. As I do in each show, I try to give some prescriptions to help you out, what I call the ABC's of venture growth challenges for you. The A stands for acquire capital for the next steps, which we just talked about. You're looking for those angel ... around the smart money, smart investors that can help you. The B is for build a distribution sales network and it sounds like you're doing that as you're going to the wine professionals and the distributors. But eventually to the consumer which could be very powerful, and that's what led me to C, create awareness of wine preservation. I think more of us as consumers that are aware of this kind of a product are going to demand having this in our homes, so we can enjoy the wine much like you. Those are my ABCs and I hope they help you as you go forward, Ryan.
Ryan Frederickson: Yeah, thank you very much for that, I'll take that to heart.
Dr. K: Fantastic, so where could our audience find you?