West Bloomfield resident Max Feber stands before “sharks” on the ABC show “Shark Tank” Jan. 6 presenting his company, BRUW, to strike a business deal.

West Bloomfield resident Max Feber stands before “sharks” on the ABC show “Shark Tank” Jan. 6 presenting his company, BRUW, to strike a business deal.

Photo provided by Max Feber


West Bloomfield teen wins big on ‘Shark Tank’

By: Sherri Kolade | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published January 17, 2019

 The BRUW filtration system involves two mason jars, a double-sided lid with a filter in the center and a straw.

The BRUW filtration system involves two mason jars, a double-sided lid with a filter in the center and a straw.

Photo provided by Max Feber

WEST BLOOMFIELD — A simple annoyance paid off big for West Bloomfield resident Max Feber, 19, who is revolutionizing the cold brew industry one sip at a time.

It began four years ago, when the then-15-year-old got into cold brew coffee making and wanted to cold brew at home with a mason jar.  When cheesecloth didn’t work (ask his mom) to filter the grounds without spilling coffee onto the kitchen counter, necessity became the mother of invention.

Feber headed to his garage to create a patented cold brew coffee filtration system that landed him a spot on the ABC show “Shark Tank” Jan. 6.

“It went amazing. It was the coolest, like, the coolest experierinece ever,” Feber said.

Feber — now a student at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts — struck a deal with “Shark Tank” “shark” and businessman Mark Cuban to receive a $50,000 investment for 30 percent ownership of Feber’s company, BRUW, which sells a mason jar cold brew coffee filter, mason jars and coffee.

Feber initially requested $50,000 for 25 percent ownership.

Feber’s invention involves preparing cold brew coffee with two mason jars, a double-sided lid with a filter in the center and a straw, according to a press release.

On the show, Feber told the sharks that he has just finished his first year of college and is majoring in business. Feber has been watching the show since he was 8 years old, which surprised some of the sharks.

“Watching ‘Shark Tank,’ I learned how to run a business,” he told them. “I’m taking the lessons you are telling other entrepreneurs and applying them to this business.”

“Shark Tank” shark Robert Herjavec told Feber that the most inspiring thing about being a shark is that 50 percent of the people who come before the sharks with ideas are kids.

“And they are learning the language of business, and look at you,” he said to Feber. “You’ve taken that.”

“And he’s augmented with coffee — a lot of it,” fellow shark Kevin O’Leary said.

During his presentation on the show, Feber explained that he has perfected a new way to make cold brew coffee at home, “without the need for complicated, overpriced equipment.”

Afterward, Feber accepted Cuban’s offer with a hug, not a handshake.

Feber told the Beacon that when he was 15 years old, he “just fell in love” with coffee.

“I really loved it. I tried making it, did what I could to learn more about it,” he said. Eventually, he stumbled across cold brew coffee. “(I) looked (at) these ways to make it at home — only problem is, then you have to filter it.”

He said that through trial and error — mostly error — with cold brew coffee home accoutrements, he went to his garage and tinkered around.

“I was like, ‘There has to be a better way,’” he said. “I invented … it wasn’t on the market.”

Brent Seitz, a patent attorney at the Detroit-based Harness Dickey, a firm focused on patents and intellectual property, secured the patent for Feber.

Seitz said that the episode “turned out great.”

“Max did a deal with Mark Cuban — he got, basically, what he was looking for,” he said, adding that the sharks all loved him “and were impressed with him.”

Seitz said Feber took the initiative to get on the show.

After the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awards a patent, it is up to the client to commercialize a product, Seitz said.

“We’re definitely proud of him. It was fun to see him realize that success,” he said.

Seitz added that most of Harness Dickey’s clients are big corporations.

“And we’re working with the engineers and their patent departments. ... These engineers have a bunch of patent applications pending, and they receive many patents over the years.”

Seitz said that every time someone gets a patent, it’s “something special.”

“It is a lot of fun to hear their excitement and be part of that excitement,” Seitz said. It was a first for the firm — coming up on its 100th anniversary — to see a patent from the firm on a television show.

Feber also raised $10,000 in a Kickstarter fundraising campaign from nearly 200 backers.

Feber said his company will have more products added to the BRUW line.

He is also “just trying to get more customers around the country … and get to know what BRUW is — to make cold brew coffee at home,” he said, adding that his products are in a handful of retail stores. “(We are) working on big box stores.”

Feber said he wants to help others start new businesses too.

“I think that it’s an idea (I) keep coming back to: help other people start businesses and help other people get patents like Brent helped me,” he said. “I really appreciate all the support.”

BRUW is being sold in Israel, Australia, Singapore and around the U.S.

For more information, go to www.BRUW.net.