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Clemson grad jumps into ‘Shark Tank’ to pitch product he calls ‘kooler than a cooler’

Watch a time lapse video of the Kanga Kase Mate ability to keep things cool

The Kanga Kase Mate is a cooler designed by a Clemson grad. The team behind the invention will be appearing on Shark Tank to show off their design for a perfect tailgate cooler.
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The Kanga Kase Mate is a cooler designed by a Clemson grad. The team behind the invention will be appearing on Shark Tank to show off their design for a perfect tailgate cooler.

Because these former college students appreciate a cold beer, they’ll soon appear on national television.

A group of Clemson alums will pitch its invention, which started out as a class project, on an episode of “Shark Tank.”

The former Clemson students’ invention is the Kanga Kase Mate — a koozie for an entire case of beverages.

“They gave us great suggestions and great feedback,” Logan LaMance said about his experience on the popular ABC show in an interview with The State on Tuesday.

The episode of “Shark Tank” that will air at 10 p.m. Eastern time on April 7 has already been filmed. While LaMance couldn’t give away the result of his company’s experience on the show, the Pickens, South Carolina, native admitted necessity was the mother of Kanga’s invention.

LaMance said he was taking a business course at Clemson two years ago, and the goal was to create an invention that would solve a problem college students face.

What issue did LaMance think of solving? He wanted to find a way to keep his beer cold when tailgating.

LaMance said he and his friends, four of them now his partners at Kanga, often wound up drinking warm beer as they tailgated before watching the Tigers play football. They all had Yeti coolers that cost around $300, but none of them wanted to haul those, or heavy sacks of ice, a mile to their pregame spot.

So, LaMance said he and his friends would buy a case of beer to bring with them, but it would be warm before long. And as the Kanga team says on its website, “WARM BEER SUCKS!”

Then LaMance had a eureka moment.

“I saw somebody put a beer in a koozie, and I thought ‘Wow! You can take a beer from something that makes it cold and put it into something to keep it cold,’ ” LaMance told The State.

And the seed that was a koozie for an entire case of beer had been planted. LaMance admitted his project received a B grade in the class, but he and his friends were convinced to manufacture and market it for real.

Kase Koozee Fishing.jpg
Logan LaMance is pictured with an early prototype of the Kanga Kase Mate. Submitted by Logan LaMance

The invention evolved from the prototype Kase Koozee in the first year, and with additional funding provided through a Kickstarter campaign it has developed to the point where it will keep drinks, even non-alcoholic ones, cold for up to seven hours, LaMance said.

It is made from “scuba foam” material, according to LaMance, who said it does for packs of beer from 12 to 30 cans what a traditional koozie does for an individual bottle, Clemson reported.

The Kanga Kase Mate is not a single-use, disposable product, and LaMance told The State his company has two patents pending. He has also copyrighted the slogan “Kooler than a cooler.”

As far as he knows, his invention is unique.

“I’ve seen tons of other ideas to keep beer cold, but nothing like this,” said LaMance, who was an engineering major before graduating with a business management degree when he got the entrepreneurial bug after running a house-painting business after his freshman year. “This all revolves around using the case and original packaging.”

When he and his partners learned they would be on “Shark Tank,” he said they over prepared and analyzed all of the show’s previous episodes. He said they wanted to learn the tendencies of the show’s panel of “sharks” that regularly includes Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, Lori Greiner and Barbara Corcoran.

“I was nervous about it, but now I’m excited. I really can’t remember what happened, so I’m looking forward to watching it too to see,” said LaMance. “It was fun, lighthearted and hopefully inspirational.”

Without revealing the outcome of the show, LaMance said he left “Shark Tank” with three goals.

“The first step is to move out of my parents’ basement; the second is to get an office and treat it like a business; and it’s time to make a bunch of money off it,” said LaMance, who told The State that Kanga is working on product deals with Anheuser-Busch, Wicked Weed Brewing, Flying Dog Brewery and a casino in Illinois among other interested parties. “It’s a huge fit in so many areas.”

One of the contests at Oktoberfest at Southern Barrel Brewing Co. on Saturday was a stein holding competition in which contestants had to hold a large glass stein full of beer up for as long as they could. After eight long minutes, the winner was

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.
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