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drynkware experiences growth and dives into new markets

  • By Brighton EDC
  • 27 Jun, 2017

The BEDC takes a minute to catch up with the first winners of the Brighton Business Innovation Pitch Competition

With great anticipation and high expectations, the Brighton Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) launched the inaugural Brighton Business Innovation Pitch Competition in 2016. Nearly thirty Brighton small businesses and startups applied to the competition. Everything from breweries to tech startups submitted an application. After weeks of vetting, five finalists were selected to pitch their company to an esteemed panel of judges. The company that has the distinction of being the first to win the pitch competition is drynkware, a small, independent bar ware brand headquartered in Brighton.

As the BEDC prepares to launch the 2017 version of the pitch competition, we caught up with drynkware to find out how the company is doing. “drynkware is doing great!” say Daniel and Alyssa Ryley, Chief Libation Aficionados, co-founders and owners of drynkware. “The company has seen significant growth in online retail sales, namely via Amazon, in which alone we have seen a 25% increase sales over this time period last year.”

drynkware won the 2016 pitch competition based on their unique and innovative product as well as the strength of early sales. The product certainly seems to be catching on. The Ryleys state: “drynkware has expanded growth into wholesale for the hospitality industry and custom designs for corporate marketing/branding of promotional items.  (Both of these growth opportunities were presented in drynkware's Innovation Pitch Contest.) drynkware has since been able to partner with a couple prominent cocktail bars in the Denver area as well as a golf course that is now using drynkware as its signature promotional item. “

Daniel and Alyssa add, “Additionally, we have launched three new designs, which incorporate new production methods that improve quality, appearance and consistency. The new designs include the additions of a Pineapple and Anchor to the Original Hip-Stirrer line, and the new product expansion of "Stir Wars," which are lightsaber-themed cocktail picks/skewers.“

Winning the $10,000 grand prize in the 2016 pitch competition helped drynkware with “cash flowing the purchase of new, universal packaging, which allowed us to reduce packaging costs while still using a local, Adams County box manufacturer,” and also help grow their marketing efforts including worldwide reach on social media.  

The Ryleys add that “the process of building our pitch deck forced us to really think through our businesses model, develop a SWOT analysis and prioritize the most profitable expansion opportunities, provided drynkware with several public relations and media exposure opportunities, and the published press releases and news articles have helped legitimize drynkware as a viable business, but more importantly they have contributed to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) value, which has helped us to drive more sales from our own website where our margins are much higher.”

Going forward, drynkware has plans to scale the business to generate more sales and increase profit margins. They will continue to break into new markets with their innovative product. “We want to keep pushing our custom stirrers to the wedding and special event industry and companies for promotional items. We also have plans to continue expanding the products we make from beyond just stirrers and cocktail picks to other bar/home bar utensils such as muddlers and glassware.”

They would offer anyone entering the Brighton Business Innovation Pitch Competition this year, they offer the following bits of advice:

    • Remember that the theme of the pitch is Innovation.
    • Have a clear mission, vision and core values before coming into the competition.
    • If you're selected as a finalist, use images, not text to tell your story during the pitch.
    • Rehearse like crazy!

We congratulate drynkware on their continued success as a proud Brighton company. As the BEDC kicks off the 2017 competition this summer, we look forward to learning about many more innovative and energetic small businesses and startups that make Brighton a great place to live and work!

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