Every single year, at the same time, I get nostalgic in the last drawn out days of August. The transition into fall always catches me by surprise. September is synonymous with new beginnings. A palpable sense of possibility caught in the turning of the leaves, the slight chill at the edge of the evenings. This year it feels a little uncanny. For the first time we don’t have school to go back to. Extended in front of us is time—open unbridled glorious—and opportunity—as intimidating as it is invigorating.
In college September meant reunions, friendship, football, skulking around campus, breathing in the orange air, not yet jaded by work and jobs and everything in between. Now September is start dates, suits, first impressions, airplanes, and apartments. For Motxo, the fall means growing up too. We might not be wearing suits to work, but we certainly are making some serious moves.
We’re working with Sovereign Flavors, one of the largest flavor houses in California to develop Motxo. Every time we take another step to seeing this product on shelves it’s more and more of a thrill. Motxo has only lived on various whiteboards across Northwestern’s campus, so it feels unbelievable that we’re close to actual production. We also don’t hate the daunting task of taste testing as many versions of our product to make sure it’s just right. I also really happen to like wearing the funny hats that are mandatory in the flavor facility, so really it’s a win all around.
Even more excitingly, Motxo was also recently accepted onto CircleUp, a crowd-funding platform that connects accredited investors with consumer product startups to make the fundraising process easier. If things go well with our raise, Motxo will be looking at a real seed round to finance production and our launch.
Talk about something I can't wrap my mind around.
Getting there hasn’t been easy though. Our last month has been a blitzkrieg of ten-hour days in our respective home offices (read: a desk I bogarted from my family) trying to cram our skulls full of everything there possibly is to know about deal structure, convertible notes, and venture capital as quickly as possible.
A shout out is definitely in order to both of our families for listening to Ben and I debate growth rates, cans vs. bottles, and our financial projections day in and day out. A big thanks to my mom for being the Excel whiz she is in our time of need and to my Dad who works in the venture world and had to deal with huge existential questions like what does the conversion date really mean and how do you write a term sheet without a lawyer. Answer to the second one, by the way? You don’t.
It was a lot of work, no doubt, but that’s what we both really love about Motxo. The learning curve never seems to stop and no matter how much we think we know, there is always something else lurking around the corner to discover.
It’s a challenge. It’s exhausting. And if you think you’ve seen complicated, wait until you try to tackle licensing with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
But it’s also hilarious and fun, and honestly we think the uphill battle is half the fun.