Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Who: Irina Cochran, co-owner of Terrapin Tool Co.
What: Brütül Lagerhead Black and Tan Turtle
Where: Jefferson, Georgia
Startup Costs: $50,000 for patents and engineering; $25,000 for product development
Irina Cochran and her partners spent hundreds of hours developing their product. Hundreds. Don't feel too sorry for them, though. Cochran and company were looking for a better way to pour a black and tan layered beer--a favorite libation of many beer drinkers.
For years bartenders and home connoisseurs used specialized spoons that hooked over the edge of the glass to disperse the black portion (porter or stout) of the concoction as it was poured so it would sit atop the tan layer (ale, lager or pilsner). It worked, but it lacked a certain personality. Seventy-five thousand dollars and hundreds of hours (and maybe more than a few taste tests?) later, they created the Lagerhead Black and Tan Turtle from Brütül (pronounced brew tool).