The back-story behind Eagle Energy.
“What if we could inhale caffeine?” said the overwhelmed and over-caffeinated student-athletes, Elliot Mashford and Karson Hutchinson, as they struggled to keep up with studies, sports, and fun on campus by mainlining sugary, caffeine drinks and shaky supplements.
It was 2015 and the vaporizer market was taking off.
Elliot and Karson tried some vape products that claimed to provide energy, but they either didn’t work properly or seemed unsafe. So they talked to scientists and professionals at Vancouver's University of British Columbia lab to research plants and vitamins that delivered energy, along with a vaporizer designed for natural ingredients, not nicotine or “other herbs.”
And you could say, the idea took flight.
“Right from the beginning, it’s been all about health,” remarked Eagle Energy CEO and co-founder, Elliot Mashford. “Because the amount of sugar we were both consuming to stay awake and focused was ridiculous. And what comes with all that sugar? A big sugar crash, not to mention weight gain.
“As athletes, we just knew there was a better, healthier way to get the benefits of caffeine, and vaporizers were a virtually untapped solution. As soon as we discovered guarana extract—and its potency as a natural source of caffeine—combined with the cognitive benefits of ginseng and energy boost of vitamin B12, we knew we were in business.”
But just like in life, there are no shortcuts.
Mashford recalled, “Our biggest hurdle was the vaporizer itself. Competitors were using generic vaporizers with big limitations, so if we were going to deliver our plant-based formula effectively, we had to come up with a customized vaporizer technology.
“Test after test, version after version, we tweaked and re-engineered the design until we’d created a customized, self-contained heating system that worked with our formula. It meant a lot of time and money, but thanks to investors, family and other big believers, we kept going.”
“Next came manufacturing,” continued Mashford. “And we needed a partner in China, because as Apple will attest, China is where elite electronics manufacturing happens. But you have to know how to do business there.
“As part of a former project, I had vetted some factories in Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou and learned some protocols the hard way. Things like where you sit at a meeting table, and what not to do when you eat out with your host. Now that is key. So is avoiding eating pig feet.
“When I returned to China to talk about manufacturing Eagle Energy, I was reminded how business meetings are all about drinking. Heavy drinking and very firm negotiations, which combined, can be pretty challenging.
He laughed, “One time, some factory owners and managers drank me under the table so badly I missed my connecting flight back to Beijing and ended up sitting in the airport for 9 hours nursing a horrible hangover. At one point, I was in the airport Pizza Hut and a Chinese couple came up to me and asked if I would consider marrying their daughter. Can’t make this up.
“Anyway, I have to say visiting factories in China has been a very positive experience. The stigma of China’s factories being sweatshops has not been true for any I’ve visited. Happy and healthy people of all ages work there, and younger workers are allowed to go to school and take breaks whenever they need to.
“In fact, we really value our business relationships in China. The quality control that’s conducted around the manufacturing of our vaporizer technology is outstanding.”
Eagle Energy is now being sold and distributed throughout North America, Australia, China and Japan.
“It’s been quite a journey so far, and we’re blown away with how Eagle Energy is being embraced all over the world,” concluded Mashford. “Our focus now is on continued research and innovation.
“We already have lots of supporting data on Eagle Energy’s safety and efficacy, and next month, we’re doing a clinical trial with the University of South Alabama. Their Department of Health, Kinesiology and Sport have published trials on other caffeine supplement products and energy drinks, so we’re very excited to be working with them.”
From a single pivotal question, to disrupting—and leading—the caffeine vaporizer space, persistence, hard work and positive energy continues to fuel this brand!