Taking on an entrepreneurial venture wasn’t something that Scott Hartnell was actively seeking, but sometimes, you stumble upon opportunity in life.
Four years ago, Adam Patterson, a friend of Hartnell’s and the video coach for the Philadelphia Flyers, was sitting down in a restaurant and happened to see a bartender stocking beers into a container that had a window. He could see what was going into the container, and that served as his ‘light bulb moment.’
The drinks looked pretty awesome stacked inside the bin, Hartnell said, which spawned the idea for the Naked Cooler. Patterson is the majority investor in the project at 50 percent, while Hartnell is one of two partners at 25 percent each. The project’s Kickstarter fund, which ends next week, has a $200,000 goal to get the production efforts off the ground.
“Anything on ice looks a lot more attractive than just sitting there,” Hartnell told BlueJackets.com while visiting with Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno, who is a backer of the Naked Cooler project. “I just thought it was neat that you could see what you’re grabbing and also display what you’re drinking, whether it’s pops, beers for adults…it seemed like a cool concept to see what’s in there.”
That was four years ago, and in the time since, Patterson has spent a lot of time obtaining patents and producing prototypes. It’s been an educational and invigorating process for Hartnell, who started as the friend getting the pitch from Patterson and is now all-in on what they think is a game-changing concept.
“I can’t say that I was actively looking to get involved with something like this (from an entrepreneurial perspective),” Hartnell said. “But once I learned more about it and saw how passionate Adam was about his idea, I wanted to be involved. If you look at the history of coolers, I guess, you have red, blue and white…that’s about it. We have some funky coolers and some unique designs, which is one of the fun parts about it.
“It’s a neat twist on the cooler industry. We’re obviously not looking to be No. 1, but possible to take a piece of the business and see what we can do.”
He’s been successful in getting some of his Blue Jackets teammates on board, too. Foligno and Cam Atkinson (along with a few other players) have contributed financially to the Naked Cooler Kickstarter, and they had similar reactions after learning about the concept.
“They thought it was a pretty cool idea,” Hartnell said. “But more than that, it’s just been great to have their support.”
Some background on the Naked Cooler:
Scott and his business partner started a Kickstarter campaign to bring the “world’s first cooler with a view” to market.
This 2-inch thick foam insulated cooler that holds up to 60 beverages keeps products ice cold for up to 24 hrs. Its revolutionary patented window technology allows users to view their beverage options. Telescopic handles and wheels make for easy mobility, while the dishwasher-safe removable cup holder and bin make for multiple storage options.
(Note: The design team/manufacturer is based in Cleveland, Ohio.)
Contribute and pre-order the Naked Cooler here: http://www.nakedcooler.com/blogpost/2015/1/21/check-out-our-kickstarter.
All photos courtesy of Scott Hartnell and Naked Cooler.