Starting a business is a lot like mixing the perfect cocktail.

It takes a blend of the right ingredients, trusting your instincts, and ultimately, a leap of faith.

For Bartesian, a Velocity Foundry startup, creating a great cocktail and building a successful business are synonymous.

Today marks a big day for Bartesian, the single-capsule cocktail maker. It launches its official Kickstarter campaign this morning. Co-founders Bryan Fedorak and Jason Neevel hope to raise $100,000.

“It has two goals,” Fedorak said. “The funding goal is to cover our fixed costs and ship our product. As well, it’s a very public way to get your image out there. It’s fun and exciting. Our product is a fun exciting thing — it’s a good match.”

Bartesian aims to make the in-home cocktail experience a simple one. The machine requires you to provide the liquor and one of the six Bartesian capsules. Press start, and the machine will create an authentic mixed drink in under a minute, from the Margarita to Sex on the Beach.

Fedorak and Neevel balance business with the technical, holding Laurier MBA and University of Waterloo Engineering degrees between the two of them.

“When we started it, I was still in the Laurier MBA program,” Fedorak said. “At the end of the program, I said, ‘There’s some legitimate interest in this idea.’ ”

Neevel quit his job to commit to the cocktail company full-time. Bartesian has since lived in the Velocity Foundry, apart from a recent three-month gap.

The two founders were admitted into the HAX Accelerator, a 15-week program in Shenzhen, China. HAX is known internationally for helping hardware startups fast-track their business and product development, bringing 65 products to market in the last three years.

“We had a very rudimentary prototype when we applied, made of plywood,” Fedorak said. “In China, we made four additional prototypes, which is pretty awesome. We came out with a functional, work-like, looks-like prototype.”

The two work long hours in the Foundry, sometimes 16-hour days, motivated by the understanding that getting to market quickly is imperative for success.

“In the startup world, moving fast is extremely important,” Fedorak said. “You definitely need to know your customer well and know what needs to be done to mitigate their problem … And then, once that’s done, you need to move as quickly as possible.”

Thanks to HAX Accelerator’s resources, as well as the business culture in China, Bartesian has been able to reach the funding stage in an extremely timely fashion.

“You were able to design, test, iterate very quickly because things move very fast in China,” Fedorak said. “You are able to prototype extremely rapidly compared to here.”

The pair hopes to grow the Bartesian brand into a line of express cocktail products, inspired by a large and dynamic team.

“Our vision is to work in a place that is really fun, with a team environment that is driven to excel,” Fedorak said. “It’s a cocktail company, it’s fun. We drink a lot.”

One company name change later, a round-trip to China, countless hours in the Foundry, and the two entrepreneurs are ready to bring Bartesian to the consumer.

Fedorak said that his love for being a self-starter has made all the long workdays worthwhile.

“You have to be passionate about what you’re doing,” Fedorak said. “You’re not going to be successful if you’re not passionate.”

Photo: (From left) Jason Neevel and Bryan Fedorak, Co-founders of Bartesian. 

About The Author

Alexandra Satok

Alexandra Satok is an incoming third-year business student at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is delighted to be spending the summer in Waterloo, working as an External Relations Co-op at Communitech. She enjoys looking at the sustainable side of entrepreneurship and has started social ventures at her university campus. Alexandra hopes to put her passion into practice and create her own startup in the future.