“I was always trying to start a business or sell something, but BRUW was different.”
Max Feber ’21 has been an entrepreneur ever since he can remember, always looking for the next business opportunity. At the age of 15, he discovered a problem he felt he could help solve: why was making cold brew coffee so unnecessarily difficult?
This problem-solving attitude brought him all the way to “Shark Tank” with his company, BRUW, the mess-free cold brewing filter. Feber pitched BRUW in the Tank on Sunday, January 6, 2019, and received a deal of $50,000 for 30% of his company (you can watch the full episode online).
A Better Way to Brew
In high school, Feber became infatuated with coffee. He learned everything about making the best cup, and stumbled upon a new type of coffee they were calling cold brew. It wasn’t sold in stores yet. Starbucks hadn’t even jumped on the idea. Feber was intrigued.
So, he tried to make a cup. He followed the instructions, making a few modifications along the way, and found the process messy, time consuming, and ineffective. Grounds were slipping through the cheese cloth and there was water everywhere. He knew there had to be a better way.
Inspired, Feber went into his garage, grabbed a screen off of the wall, and attached it to two Mason jar lids. BRUW was born.
In December 2015, Feber launched a Kickstarter and raised $10,000 to begin the production of BRUW when he was just a junior in high school.
BRUW Comes to Babson
When Feber began looking for colleges, Babson was immediately on his radar.
“When I was a junior and senior in high school, I would go to business pitch competitions,” said Feber. “I was typically the youngest person there, a majority of the founders were in their 30s or older, and then there would be one or two college students. They were always from Babson.”
In 2017, Feber met Hanson Grant ’16 on the set of “Hatched,” a nationally syndicated TV show, connecting emerging brands with successful mentors and investors. Grant and Feber connected over their entrepreneurial spirit and drive. Grant just graduated from Babson, and confirmed Feber’s belief that Babson was the right place for him and for BRUW.
At Babson, Feber honed his entrepreneurial skills.
“In high school, I was in QuickBooks trying to figure it out, and trying to build a website,” said Feber. “At Babson, I was actually taught how to do these things, by people that have done them successfully.”
Professors used real world business experience to not just teach Feber these skills but help him apply them directly to BRUW. “My professors have both personally and professionally helped me grow BRUW,” said Feber. “Professor Brad Johnson helped me set up my supply chain, get into a warehouse, and used his experience at Wayfair as a former VP to give us tips to sell on the platform.”
This is merely one example of many of how Feber worked with professors at Babson to simultaneously complete his course work and grow his business.
Taking BRUW to the Tank
After many years of growing his business, Feber has accomplished a dream: being featured on “Shark Tank.”
Feber credits Babson’s rigorous curriculum for keeping him calm on the show. “Babson did really prepare me for “Shark Tank,” said Feber. “Being comfortable pitching and talking openly about the metrics and financials, helped me prepare mentally.”
There was no question about his business Feber couldn’t handle in the Tank.
“When they ask you really detailed questions about your financials, Babson prepares you for that,” said Feber. “When you are asked a really complicated question, you know how to answer it because of the Babson curriculum.”
Feber felt prepared from his experience in Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship (FME) in his first year at Babson. When talking to friends at other business schools, he said, he appreciates the rigorous curriculum and immersive learning he has received at Babson that has helped propel him and his company forward.
This story was updated on January 6 to reflect the outcome of Feber’s appearance on Shark Tank.
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