A new Jewish duo keep the momentum going at 313 Energy
313 Energy, an energy drink company started by young businessmen Matthew Tukel and Sawyer Altman as part of a high school entrepreneurship program in 2012, has undergone some changes and shows no signs of slowing down its continued growth.
Since its inception five years ago, Detroit-based 313 Energy has been in the capable hands of several pairs of Frankel Jewish Academy (FJA) students, starting with Tukel and Altman. Two years later, Connor Tukel and Carter Altman — the founders’ younger brothers — took the reins while keeping the business “in the family.”
Now, the latest duo to head the dynamic drink manufacturer are Brett Ferber and Josh Soliemani, company president and CEO, respectively. Ferber, 24, lives in Downtown Detroit and attends synagogue with his family at The Shul in West Bloomfield. He graduated from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. Soliemani, also 24, is a West Bloomfield resident and Oakland University grad, and attends services at Keter Torah with his family.
A family spirit still pervades 313 Energy. Though no longer involved with the day-to-day operations, the elder Tukel and Altman still have a stake in the company.
According to Soliemani, 313 Energy, which produces the drinks containing taurine, B vitamins and antioxidants, continues its mission of giving back to the community by donating a portion of the sale of each can to the Detroit Public Schools Foundation. He and Ferber have kept this personal connection alive while continuing to expand the company with their new initiatives.
“Brett and I were aware of 313 when we were in college,” Soliemani said. “We both loved it and could see the company showed promise. We loved what the company stood for and wanted to be a part of that.
“Sawyer and Matt were busy in school and didn’t have time to continue to run the company,” he added. “Brett and I thought it was a fantastic opportunity. The company started with FJA alumni, and we felt it should stay in the family.”
Since taking over, Ferber and Soliemani instituted changes such as redesigning the can, expanding their customer base to include more than 200 locations — including entry into the Canadian market through a partnership with a Canadian distributor — and lowering their price to reach a larger market.
“We’re still partnering with the Detroit Public Schools Foundation.” Soliemani said. “Brett and I feel the company is very much based on Jewish values. We show this by giving back to the community that supports us. We help anywhere and everywhere we can.”
With this level of commitment and excitement, the young company is poised for greater growth with an eye toward continuing Detroit’s revitalization, as evidenced by the two businessmen’s goal: to provide many jobs for the future.
Coming from the youthful spirit at 313 Energy? An invigorating idea indeed.
Judy Greenwald Contributing Writer
For more information, visit www.313energy.com.