The Ohio State legend invented the beer boncoozie.

Kong revolutionizes the tailgate game

Two Ohio State University students, Tristan McIntyre and Hunter Souders, are changing the way students tailgate with their new invention: Kong.

What started out as just a crazy idea born out of a drinking night, The Kong is a combination of a koozie and a beer bong, and it's as great as it sounds.

McIntyre and Souders spoke to The Tab about their invention, its creation, and where they plan to go from here.

Late one night, after drinking and bar hopping, Hunter and I bounced ideas off each other and ended up using beer koozies as funnels to beer bongs and some way to store the hoses neatly when they weren't. It hit me: 'Bong' mode,” McIntyre said.

The co-creators say they drew inspiration from trying to solve the original bulky design problems of traditional beer bongs.

It was a long journey for McIntyre and Souders from coming up with the idea for Kong to finding a manufacturer to build it. BUSINESS His partners and friends found a similar product that had been abandoned in the early 2000s, but moved forward with the idea anyway.

“We immediately started creating 3D models of early versions of the product,” McIntyre said. “We really didn't know what we were doing.”

The process they described was quite hectic. McIntyre and Souders began talking with suppliers from day one when they started working on his 3D model of the original Kong.

“The design process involved constant back and forth between adding new features to the CAD software and printing new designs at our technology hub in Ohio for most of the summer.” The two said they don't know if their idea would have come to fruition without Ohio State's affordable and available resources.

“Finding people to help was much more difficult than I expected. I probably spent the summer walking around Smith Institute asking random teachers and students if they could help me design Kong. “It took about five days,” McIntyre said. .

When it became clear that raising money from investors would be difficult, McIntyre and Souders began considering crowdfunding. They eventually launched a KickStarter and nearly reached their original goal, but it was canceled.

After receiving a lot of attention from KickStarter, they were able to privately raise the remaining funds. “Suddenly, our families didn't think we were crazy, they saw the potential of our product, and they wanted to help,” McIntyre and Souders said. I had zero experience as an entrepreneur and knew very little about starting my own business before The Kong. They spent much of this summer marketing their KickStarter and perfecting their prototype.

“One weekend in the summer of 2017, Hunter and I set out on a 16-hour drive in our 2003 Chrysler Town and Country to a small foam duck factory near Grand Forks, North Dakota. Our summer had led to this moment, and we could be days away from having a working prototype. ” McIntyre filmed their entire journey in hopes of one day creating a “how-to” video for other aspiring entrepreneurs.

McIntyre and Souders had their fair share of troubles along the way, including a mold that stuck on a trip to North Dakota and trouble finding an affordable manufacturer.

“We had planned to hold a launch party at one of the frat houses on campus and spend $5,000 to have either Rae Sremmurd or OT Genesis perform during the event. “I thought we would have the product here by the time it started.” ”

Unfortunately, The Kong isn't quite ready for this tailgate season. Asked for an update on the process, McIntyre said: “Right now, we're working with some sourcing agents to help us find cheaper manufacturing in China and Malaysia.”

“The process has proven to be very slow, but it's important that everything is perfect before we pull the trigger and spend thousands of dollars building Kong,” McIntyre continued.

With a little ingenuity and a lot of hard work, these two may have changed the party game forever.

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