What started as a class project that has grown into a high-growth company based in the Upstate has earned its young co-owners recognition in a national business publication.
The co-founders of Kanga Coolers — Ryan Frazier, Logan Lamance and Austin Maxwell — have been named to Forbes’ latest 30 Under 30 list.
The publication notes that their company, Kanga Coolers, which is based in Greenville, “has a line of iceless coolers sold online and in 4,000 brick-and-mortar locations, including Ace Hardware.”
The trio appears in the retail and ecommerce section of Forbes’ list.
"We recently and unexpectedly were selected for the 2023 Forbes 30 Under 30 List, which we credit as a full team win and team award,” Maxwell, who is also head of sales for Kanga, wrote in an email. “Great people build great companies, and we have some of the best employees and customers in the entire world."
The inspiration for what would become Kanga Coolers began as a class project at Clemson University in 2017, Maxwell stated in the email.
“We were assigned with finding a solution to a problem that we face on a regular basis,” Maxwell said. “Walking around tailgates on gameday we realized that there was a more convenient way to keep a case of cold beer cold while on the go — and then the Kanga Kase Mate was born, the world's first and only iceless cooler for a case of canned beverages.”
The entrepreneurs were featured on the ABC-TV show “Shark Tank” in 2017, which led to a deal with billionaire Mark Cuban in 2019.
“The business has been rapidly growing in Greenville ever since,” Maxwell said.
Kanga Coolers are sold in every U.S. state and available in over 4,000 retailers, including ACE Hardware, Palmetto Moon, Under The Carolina Moon and more.
What message would the trio like to send to those with a dream?
“We want to inspire entrepreneurs young and old to pursue their passions and just ‘go for it,’” Maxwell said. “Building a business can and should be fun.”