Following an appearance on ABC’s “Shark Tank” and support from local investors, entrepreneur Danny Grossfeld launched HOTSHOT, an innovation that makes hot ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee.
On a trip to Japan, Grossfeld was introduced to the concept of hot coffee in cans and subsequently launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring a version of the Japanese product to U.S. consumers, which caught the eye of Shark Tank producers.
"Gearing up for my Shark Tank appearance was one of the most stressful times of my life," Grossfeld said in a statement. "But the experience was also invaluable as I had to anticipate the Sharks' questions and make sure my business plan was flawless. I have to say it was one of the greatest experiences of my life."
Although Grossfeld didn't get an initial deal, pre-show visibility helped secure private investment and “Shark” Mark Cuban offered a test placement in his movie theaters.
"Initial response to the segment has been phenomenal," Grossfeld said. "Phone and web pre-orders are streaming in and in two days since the show aired, I have received more orders than in 45 days on Kickstarter."
Initially available in Espresso, Caramel, Vanilla Frappe and Hot Chocolate, the coffee, made from 100 percent Arabica beans grown in Sumatra, is served in aluminum cans that are warmed to 140 degrees Fahrenheit by a custom-designed HOT "fridge." When opened, the cans emit steam. The brand is planning to add more flavors to the lineup.
Pre-orders are being taken for starter kits, consisting of a hot box and 12 8-ounce cans of assorted flavors retailing for $69.99. Replacement 12-can packs are available for $26.99. Kits also are available for retail. Products will be delivered in January, the company says.