Last week, I talked to Andrew about the product and the Kickstarter campaign. Here is his story:
Why Beer Pong?
I grew up in the Boston area and went to college in Connecticut, and out in the woods, beer pong was a party staple. I always enjoyed playing. We had multiple beer pong tables that we built and bought, and always had tournaments going on. So one day the idea just popped in my head after years of arguing over elbow rules and chasing after dirty balls, it just finally clicked.
When did you get the company together?
I came up with the idea about five years ago. I was in Tampa, FL visiting my brother for his college graduation. There was a huge tournament going on with about fifteen people and I thought a net would be really beneficial in that situation. It was only about two or three years ago that I started making it happen.
It’s a platform that really helps new products and ideas. Because of that, we’ve been able to get the idea out there, make connections with potential retail vendors and manufacturers. It’s also allowed us to release it to the public, so people can give us feedback, and because of this, we’ve been able to make some minor adjustments on the product that will be more beneficial to the consumer.
What did you expect?
I’ve never worked on a Kickstarter before, and I think my expectations were a little higher than what they should have been, but we’ve learned a lot along the way. You can’t release a product and expect everyone to buy it immediately. There’s an enormous amount of marketing that goes into putting a new product out there.
What were the biggest obstacles you’ve faced?
Nobody has ever played beer pong with a net, so no one knows what it feels like to play with one. You know, if you see a new sunglasses or watch company, you already know what it’s like to wear those things, so you know what to expect. With Pong Caddie, there’s nothing out there to compare it to.
The product works phenomenal. Everyone who uses it, loves it. Once you’ve used it, you can’t imagine playing without it. I think once people use it and see what it’s like, they won’t be able to play the game without it. We’ve struggled in the marketing department to show that to the consumer.
What happens next?
We’ve already had a few major retail vendors that are interested in carrying our product. We’re going to continue to find new ways to reduce the manufacturing costs and overhead. We’re also going to try to implement a College Rep Program to spread it across the country.
And we’re trying to find Pong Caddie sponsored bars that would have their own table and net. They’ll be listed online as an official Pong Caddie bar so people can get out there and try the product.
Why The Testicular Cancer Foundation?
I’ve owned a couple of companies before and I’ve always donated to the American Cancer Society, because it’s a huge part of everyone’s life. It affects everyone and I like to help out. The plan is that the more we grow, the more I want to donate.