Schulich grad launches product with Spirit
Dan Beach (MBA ’10) and his business partner Kevin Folk were just regular guys. In their down time, they liked to kick back and have drinks with friends. Trying to be health conscious, they looked for vodka soda with minimal caloric intake, but soon realized there was no drink on the market that catered to their lifestyle.
Channeling skills learned at Schulich, Dan and his colleague came up with Social Lite, an 80 calorie “sin-free” vodka soda with no sugar or sweetener and all natural ingredients. “Based on the courses I took during my MBA I was able to write up a business plan laying out our idea,” Beach said.
The drink took a new and unique approach to coolers currently on the market by using high-end vodka and not adding any sugar or sweetener. Now with the drinks on store shelves in both Alberta and British Columbia since September 2014, they continue to gain traction. While Social Lite is currently only available for special order in Ontario, they have their sights set on hitting the shelves by next year.
Looking back at his transition from working for a big firm to running his own company, there have been challenges along the way, but Beach feels the knowledge he gained at Schulich has put him in the right position for success.
“It gave me real life training,” Beach said. “The entrepreneurship specialization really opened up my eyes to understand how businesses work.”