Brian Tighe, a candidate in Weatherhead’s full-time MBA program, simply set out to hand-make a thank you gift for a friend. What unfolded from there has led to a creation beyond what Tighe ever expected.
The name of his creation is Cap-Stop, a magnetic bottle opener that catches the caps before they fall to the ground. Not only is the product innovative and environmentally friendly, but it can be custom designed to specific interests and personalities. Decorated with sports teams, flags, university colors, and much more, these one-of-a-kind items can stick to a refrigerator, cooler, camper, truck… anything magnetic. Each Cap-Stop is made from a high-quality piece of wood and inlayed with super-strong rare earth magnets.
With the product already being sold in retail outlets and team shops, Tighe looks to expand his business by participating in a 30-day Kickstarter campaign, which began Oct. 18. At only one week into the campaign, Tighe had already exceeded his $7,500 goal. There is still over a week left to fundraise.
“We started off by spreading the word to family and friends, as well as the list of emails we put together from the events and shows we worked this past year,” says Tighe. “As our campaign gained momentum we opened it up to the general public. People can donate as little as $2. Every bit counts!”
With the funds, Tighe plans to purchase more inventory to improve the turnaround time for online orders. In an effort to expand the product into new markets, he will also begin investing in licensing to allow the use of sports team and other logos on the products.
Tighe says he chose Weatherhead to help advance his education and his business since it is close to where he lives in Ohio City, and to his workshop, which is housed in the basement of his parents’ South Euclid home, but also for so much more than just location.
“Weatherhead has a great reputation with a top MBA program and the entrepreneurial energy here is unmatched,” says Tighe. “I knew I wanted to learn more about business and also take advantage of the programs and networks the university can offer my startup.
My education here allows me to be a smarter business owner by directly applying what I have learned in classes to the real world. It has been an invaluable experience thus far.”
Besides the education and support he has received here at Weatherhead, Tighe credits the guidance of Gene Sasso, program manager for Case Western Reserve’s LaunchNet, in helping him with the Kickstarter campaign and for other networking opportunities.
“There are so many bright individuals at the university who offer great feedback and perspective,” Tighe says.
Check out the Kickstarter campaign.