Teen entrepreneur hopes his cold-brew filter will get a big bite from the “sharks.”
A dream comes true for Max Feber with the airing of his pitch to the famous Shark Tank “sharks” at 9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6, on ABC.
Feber, 19, of West Bloomfield is presenting BRUW, the patented cold-brew coffee filter system he invented at age 15 when he was in a dual-enrollment class through Frankel Jewish Academy in West Bloomfield and Lawrence Technological University in Southfield.
An admitted coffee-holic, Feber had seen some YouTube videos on people brewing cold coffee using mason jars. He began tinkering with jars and makeshift filters of cheesecloth and paper towels and ended up with a “huge mess.” That’s when he went to the garage and got some wire screen to test.
When the screen led to success with the prototype, he launched a Kickstarter campaign in the fall of 2015. He raised more than $10,000 from 180 backers and went into the manufacturing and distribution phase. In March of 2017, he appeared on Hatched, a syndicated television show featured locally on WMYD-TV.
His double-sided mason jar with a filter in the center allows for coffee to be cold-brewed for 12-24 hours and then filtered from one jar to the other in a sealed, spill-free environment. The system is sold online at Amazon, the Grommet, Wayfair, bruw.net and Bed, Bath and Beyond, to name a few, starting at $19.99. And he’s added coffee specifically roasted and blended for cold brewing to his lineup. Feber says he’s sold several thousand filters and the company is growing.
He was beyond excited to be on Shark Tank, but can’t speak about the experience, his pitch, his financial information or the show’s outcome until after the episode has aired.
“Being there was an amazing, amazing experience,” Feber said. “I felt I was walking into a TV show I have been watching forever. It felt really real.”
Feber is a sophomore now studying business at Babson College in Boston. He also is running the day-to-day operations of his company, making sure he has enough product in stock, ordering parts for more filters, doing marketing, web development and customer service. He has two part-time employees to help him.
A Hillel Day School and FJA graduate, Feber is the son of Susan and David Feber of West Bloomfield and the older brother of Harry, 15, and Julia, 12. He attended Tamarack camps, and the family participates in services at Congregations Beth Ahm, B’nai Israel and Shaarey Zedek.
Though he can’t divulge the outcome of his Shark Tank venture, Feber says he has the entrepreneurial spirit and will certainly invent again.
“I will grow BRUW as much as possible, but this is not the end for me,” he says. “Let’s see where this goes first.”
By Keri Guten Cohen Story Development Editor