We’re back with another special Pitch Night episode! This time, we’re exploring what successful tech disruption looks like in an industry not typically known for innovation or adoption of new technology: food and beverage, or F&B. Specifically, can technology show us how to pour a beer better?

There’s far more at stake than maximizing the taste of your favorite brew. The average draft beer system delivers a surprisingly inefficient pour. About 30 percent of every keg is wasted on average, adding up to nearly $2 billion in wasted beer each year. Josh Springer, founder and CEO of Bottoms Up Beer, invented brand new technology to fix this problem.

As the name implies, Bottoms Up’s innovative draft beer dispenser fill glasses from the bottom, through a special magnetically-sealed hole in the base. The result? Beers can be “poured” faster and hands-free, waste is cut to about two percent, and businesses increase their venue by 30 percent.

Josh presented this unique (and funny) pitch on how to pour a beer that maximizes profit at a recent Powderkeg event cohosted with Cintrifuse. We’ve once again included the follow-up Q&A with the evening’s advisors in this episode of the podcast. On top of providing a few laughs, it should illustrate the huge potential for tech disruption in the food and beverage space and other traditionally non-tech industries.

In this episode with Josh Springer of Bottoms Up Beer, you’ll learn:

  • What’s wrong with the way every restaurant and bar serves beer.
  • How Bottoms Up increases its customers’ revenues by 30% or higher.
  • The unique opportunity for advertisers that’s built into every Bottoms Up glass.

Please enjoy this special episode with a pitch from Bottoms Up Beer CEO Josh Springer!

If you like this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes. You can also follow us on Soundcloud or Stitcher. We have an incredible lineup of interviews we’ll be releasing every Tuesday here on the Powderkeg Podcast.

Josh Springer quotes from this episode of Igniting Startups:

Links and resources mentioned in this episode:

Companies and organizations:

Venues and events:


Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Josh Springer on Twitter!

If you enjoyed this session and have 3 seconds to spare, let Josh know via Twitter by clicking on the link below:

Click here to say hi and thank Josh Springer on Twitter!


What stood out most to you about what Josh share in this podcast?

For me, it’s the unique opportunity for advertisers that’s built into every Bottoms Up glass.

You? Leave a comment below.


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<strong>Episode Transcript</strong>

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That means a marketplace that we invented, and that we own all of the intellectual property on is worth billions of dollars. And this is just the United States. And this does not include the initial equipment sale.

Hi powderkeg fans, welcome to episode 69 of powderkeg igniting startups, the show for entrepreneurs, leaders and innovators, building remarkable tech companies and communities outside of Silicon Valley. I’m your host, Matt Hunckler. And this is our first episode of 2019. The whole team is super excited to come back after celebrating the holidays with our friends, and our family. And I’m excited to share that today’s show continues an experiment that we’ve been doing for the past few episodes here on the podcast, what we’ve decided to do is look back at some of the best moments from our 2018 pitch nights. Now these are our live events that we host all over the heartland with hundreds of people, entrepreneurs, investors, professionals, community builders, all around the country. And we pulled out one of our favorite pitches from one of those live shows. And this is one of our favorite pitches, not just because of its energy and charisma, but also because the founder of his Midwest startup who also happens to dabble in stand up comedy shows how successful entrepreneurs can come from any walk of life. To introduce the Entrepreneur On today’s show, let me start by asking you a question. How much beer do you think is wasted each year in the US? Would you believe that it’s more than a billion dollars worth. Now if you’re a beer fan like me, and like many here in the Midwest, that probably feels like a travesty and atrocity. But if you’re an investor, that might sound like a potential goldmine. Today’s entrepreneur saw both of those realities. That entrepreneur and a close friend of mine is Josh Springer. He’s the founder and CEO of bottoms up beer, an Indianapolis company getting bars and venues around the world, a better way to port draft beer. He delivers a fantastic pitch, after which you’re going to hear some really lively discussion and feedback from three advisors who were there sort of Shark Tank style to give some feedback after each pitch. The first is Tony Newcomb, who was the Vice President of Engineering at Salesforce at the time of the recording, but he’s now the CTO of Chicago based Active Campaign. Then we also have Eric Wiseman, who is the Vice President of Communications community and economic inclusion at Central fuse based in Cincinnati, Ohio. And then finally, you have Chelsea Linder, who’s the director of generators, g beta Indianapolis program. It’s a short episode, but it’s a long on entertainment. Let’s hear Josh pitch bottoms up beer at our Pitch Night featuring our friends at g beta in Sintra fuse.

I just flew in and boy are my arms tired. As, as Matt was nice enough to point out my name is in fact, Joshua Springer, and I am the founder and CEO of bottoms up, and I am here today to solve a problem for you. A problem so commonplace in all of your lives that you have all accepted it as normal. That problem you ask? It’s a pain in the ass to pour beer. In fact, it is such a pain in the ass to pour a beer that last year in the United States alone, we dumped out about $1.75 billion worth of golden delicious goodness as blue. Our parents told us not to cry over spilt milk. It’s because they wanted us to save our tears for this. And that’s not even the bad part. The bad part is it takes a lot of energy to waste that beer. We’ve got to grow and harvest extra grain. We’ve got to employ and staff extra people. We’ve got to be extra late getting home to our significant others because that just one more beer baby took a little longer than it should have to get to the table. It’s destroying the fabric of America and we have accepted it as an everyday way of life. I won’t stand for it. I am here to put an end to this madness. But hold beers that magically fill themselves through the bottom stop automatically and don’t waste a drop of beer doing it. Now I know what you’re thinking Wow, this guy just saved my marriage. And yes, that is absolutely true. But there is so much more to it than that. What would happen if the staff at a bar restaurant was not stuck at the faucet a slave to pouring beer? What if they could pour another beer, make a drink, grab your food order, close the ticket. check Facebook. Oh, I tell you what can happen, that bars, sales would go through the roof. In fact, I know it to be true that it would go up their entire sales, food drink, whatever they’re selling, is going to go up a minimum of 30% 30%. Now, I don’t know what that means for the bar and restaurant market as a whole. But I know what that means to me. There are about 320,000 bars and restaurants in the United States, the United States alone. Last year, our recurring revenue per account was an average of $6,500. That means a marketplace that we invented, and that we own all of the intellectual property on is worth billions of dollars. And this is just the United States. And this does not include the initial equipment sale. Now, who’s behind this awesome awesomeness, but it’s just too good to be true. This group of geniuses, they come in early, they stay late. Yeah, there might be a few off notes in their daily jam sessions. But Gosh, darn it, do we crush it at State. And you can see there are a few smiling faces still left to be filled. And we’re growing really fast every day. So if you would like the awesomest job in the world, applying couldn’t be easier. All you got to do is make a one to two minute video resume, you can send it to me personally, Jay Springer at bottoms up beer.com Tell us a little bit about yourself. Why you want to work for the company, possibly showcase your nunchuck skills. And if we like what we see, we’ll bring you in for an in person interview. You see, we work very hard to find people that have the same drive determination and beliefs that we do. And we have been successful in finding them all over the world. We’ve got partners in Africa. Yeah, they drink beer in Africa.

We’ve got partners in the UK, Scandinavia, Australia, Italy, Latin America, I’m missing some we shipped to 37 countries last year. And the most amazing part about all of this is that I come into the office every morning and our voicemail is full of people speaking languages that I do not understand. demanding our product. It turns out this problem that we’ve all just accepted is a global epidemic people. Now I have some frosting for this Titanic sinking cake. Of a category King. Behind me, oh, behind me is a force is a simulation for presentation purposes of live data coming in from all over the world. pouring in, pun intended. You see, our dispenser is not dependent on a person to need to know how to pour a beer to get good data, a beer that magically fills itself through the bottom and stops on its own. It’s actually far less magic. And furthermore, flow meter that tracks every drop of golden deliciousness. And that means that we have the most robust draft beer analytics platform the world has ever known. And it just happens to come with our dispenser. Now. I’m about out of time. So and I have just scratched the surface of this amazing iceberg. So I’ve been nice enough to prepare some suggested questions for you guys.

Think you may have snuck a few jokes in there.

Right at the start. Yeah,

Tony, you haven’t kicked us off yet for the questions you want to I go first.

Yeah. So I I’ve used the dispenser and I love it. I have filled your bottom. Yeah, you sure have. So you have indeed. So how to why why do I not encounter it in bars more often? That is what’s holding you back? Right?

That is a great question. That is a big question. So there’s a couple answers to this question. I thought you’re going for with a two parter. I’ve got a two parter answer. One, we had to build this infrastructure. So I invented this dispenser. I invented this Spencer, I’m like, I’m gonna be rich, tomorrow, we’re gonna have an island, it’s going to be awesome. You know, as we all think about our great ideas. And what I didn’t realize is that I couldn’t pick up the phone and say, hey, well, the company that makes the holes in the bottom of the cups, that company, can you make me like a container load of cups with holes in the bottom? You get looked at really weird when you ask that question. And then you know, now you’ve got a couple of holes in it, you need machines to do this stuff. It, nobody made anything. So there was no infrastructure, we had to build all of the infrastructure. And then the next part of it is like a place like this, I’m gonna have to use the Hi Fi as an example. There is a there is an industry mindset that is slowly changing. But this establishment gets free cups from Sun King. So they’ve got they get free cups, my cups are very, very expensive, compared to free, especially. And our equipment is expensive. But what’s really cool is no matter how much anybody has spent on their equipment, it could have been $100,000, we have never taken longer, that it has never taken longer than six months for them to recoup that investment. So in my mind, you kind of want it to be really expensive. Right? recouping 100 grand in six months is pretty awesome. Thank you, Eric.

Well, that that kind of stole my the answer, stole my question, but I’ll still give it a try. Sure. So when you talk about those upfront costs, in Cincinnati, specifically on the west side of Cincinnati, there’s a lot of church festivals, we have a lot of food festivals, festivals, but you know, there’s a lot of money. That’s how they make their money. Yeah, is in beer sales. So I would think that, and maybe you guys have explored this, I just want to hear your answer to have you gone to that nonprofit side to those kinds of festival organizers that could be small. And maybe the answer is the upfront cost is too much.

So this is it’s an interesting, that’s an interesting one that you can only see the answer to from inside the system. Right. So a festival type situation that hasn’t made sense for us to focus on it, because it is a one day event that is heavily supplied by the by the distributors. So they bring in the equipment, and they supply it well, they’ve already got all this infrastructure of equipment, and they’d have to completely replace it with our equipment, and then buy a more expensive cup. Also, we run into an issue with draught beer wholesalers thinking that they’re going to sell less beer because with because our system doesn’t waste any beer, which is kind of a shitty way to treat your customer. But it’s true. There are places where we’re not allowed because of that. So we do work with a lot of festivals, we rent equipment to them. And actually, the largest Oktoberfest in the United States of America said, screw you to the wholesalers bought our system. And I mean just shattered every record they’d ever is that Cincinnati. That’s, that is in Nashville, Tennessee, in Cincinnati. If you want to see bottoms up in Cincinnati, go to Bogart it’s, it’s it’s a great little music venue. And the only time I’ve seen a line in there since bottoms up was installed is when they thought people were in line that were just standing there and talking. So no, if you want to go to a concert venue that literally has no line for a drink that is close. Bogart says your place to go. It’s incredible to watch.

Question, Eric, Chelsea, you embarrass him with the last question. Yeah, but

they both stole my question. These great thieves. It’s okay.

I actually have some some samples.

A question that I have been wondering about bottoms up for a long time ever.

If you poke the bottom it leaks?

Well, yeah, of course. No, but my question is related to that, which is the very first time I ever experienced this. We had like six of the little token things at the bar. You had six beers. Yeah. quick math question is so like with Keurig. Now down the road, people have realized that there’s been a huge environmental impact from Keurig with the waste, okay, cups. So, like, what is your way or ideas for addressing that when it comes to these extra tokens?

Thank you so much for asking one of my favorite questions in the whole wide world. One, the magnet is a magnet so it’s utility is a magnet. Ideally, people would be putting something within a value on the magnet whether it be like we do an alphabet series that is tremendously popular people collect letters, take them home, put them on their fridge, spell letters, to be pictures of it win prizes. It’s amazing. Ideally, the bar would be doing something for them or the concert or whatever making it worse, something like I went to this concert, so on and so forth. The cup is completely recyclable. Whether or not there is a waste stream for it to be recycled in in that municipality, or whatever. That’s a whole nother story. And that’s actually a lot of stuff isn’t getting recycled that we are being told is because there’s not a waste stream for it. Now, here is where we benefit the environment. It turns out, it takes almost 500 gallons of water to brew one gallon of beer. Now that is from crop to the glass in the brewing process. It’s right around 40. But about 30% of every Keg is dumped down the drain. Now I don’t have a slide with the math on it. And I’m not going to do it up here because I sound like an idiot. But that’s a lot of water being dumped down the drain. And in places like California, where water is super, super sparse or in South Africa where it is crisis time. That water I mean, I bet they wish they really had it now, right? So that’s my environmental impact answer is that we don’t we save water, and water saves lives. Dammit.

That’s it for today’s episode. Thanks so much for tuning in. I highly encourage you to follow bottoms up beer on Twitter. It’s just at bottoms up beer, all one word. And then also follow Josh. He’s just at the Josh Springer on Twitter. Also to hear Josh’s full story on founding bottoms up here. pop on over to YouTube and search for steroids, SWAT teams and the American dream. But just be warned, it’s not safe for work, but it’s also hilarious. So check that out at your own discretion. For links to the rest of the people, companies and resources mentioned in this episode, head on over to powderkeg.com and check out the show notes. You’re going to be among the first to hear the stories about entrepreneurs, investors and other tech leaders in Silicon Valley. If you subscribe on itunes@patreon.com forward slash iTunes. Catch you next time on powderkeg igniting startups