After being diagnosed with Celiac disease, FitJoy Founder Doss Cunningham embarked on a mission to redefine the protein bar. He sought to transform the “candy bar in disguise” into something healthy that everyone, no matter their dietary restrictions, would find delicious. That basic mission propelled FitJoy to create the first grain-free pretzels, continuing to succeed where others have failed in a quest to create healthy snacks that taste great. It takes tenacity to do something difficult and different.
“I appreciate how the team at Unorthodox Ventures understands that problems are meant to be solved. Their curious, hard-working nature made them the ideal partners.”
Brandon Austin grew up fishing, but as an adult, he noticed fewer and fewer kids on the water. He asked himself what if, rather than getting kids off their screens to enjoy the outdoors, their screens could augment outdoor activities like fishing? His solution is the award-winning GoFish Cam, an underwater HD camera that captures all the underwater action. With GoFish Cam, the frustrating guesswork of fishing is gone, because when you see more, you catch more.
“GoFish Cam gamifies fishing, making it more fun for kids. The moment I realized what was happening, I knew I had stumbled into a really important market. Unorthodox Ventures is helping me take full advantage of the opportunity by investing in the truest sense of the word.”
Diets are frustrating, and fads come and go. Sisters Merav and Michal Mor knew a more fundamental approach could simplify healthy dieting, so they created Lumen, a device that tracks your metabolism and tells you what to eat. While trends are short-lived, products providing real value will last.
“The team at Unorthodox Ventures rolls up their sleeves and pitches in with help, not just money. Their vast manufacturing experience really helped us refine our production processes to ensure a high-quality product.”
Alcohol industry veterans Brad and Lori Foster saw an explosion in the spiked seltzer market coming. But with it arrived a sea of indistinguishable brands. So they founded Shotgun Seltzer, a truly outsized Texas brand that eschewed simple flavors for cocktail inspirations and a focus on gaining taps at favorite watering holes. Seizing a market opportunity may get you started, but building a brand that resonates with your customers will take you the distance.
“Who hasn’t heard of Big Ass Fans? We love them in Texas, so when we heard Founder Carey Smith and his team at Unorthodox Ventures could help us build our own brand, we couldn’t wait to partner.”
When Miki Agrawal set out to build modern bidet maker Tushy, she wasn’t looking to capitalize on the American market, she wanted to create it. Nearly non-existent in America, bidets fill bathrooms in other parts of the world with an 80% adoption rate in Japan. Capturing a market is one approach, but building one is the right approach.
“Given our unique approach to toilets, we needed a partner who likes to shake things up. Carey Smith has long been an advocate of bidets for their combination of practicality and sustainability, even going so far as to install them in all employee bathrooms at Big Ass Fans. He saw the value — and business opportunity — in bidets long before other Americans. Unorthodox Ventures is exactly the right fit for us, both in name and in substance.”
Afia Founder Farrah Moussallati Sibai focuses her Middle Eastern food company on supporting refugees, a priority that grew out of her family’s own challenging journey. Her mother-in-law spent two years as a refugee of the Syrian civil war before the United States issued her a visa to join the family in Austin. She brought with her the family recipe book and what started out as a farmers’ market booth was quickly selected for the exclusive Chobani Incubator program.
Afia also won the 2018 edition of the prestigious H-E-B Quest for Texas Best contest, leading to the family’s line of frozen falafel and kibbeh appearing on grocery shelves across Texas. Afia continues to support the family’s heritage by employing several Syrian refugees, and Farrah’s mother-in-law tastes every batch of the plant-based, gluten-free delicacies to ensure they meet her exacting standards.
“Unorthodox Ventures brings such expertise in building brands and has really helped us understand how we stand out among so many food companies. They’re so supportive of our efforts to develop more healthy alternatives for families that crave the taste and nutrition of home-cooked food but simply lack the time.”
-Farrah Moussallati Sibai