A Shot at Success: ASU alums develop healthy alternative to energy drinks and study drugs

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A drink that relieves stress while increasing clarity and focus sounds like a made-up magic elixir. But a year and a half ago, two ASU alumni developed a two-ounce shot that does just that. It is now available at Circle Ks and Hi-Health stores around the Valley.

The drink, called Jubi (a derivative of the word “jubilant”), is a nootropic, or a cognition-enhancing supplement. Often called “smart drugs,” nootropics provide a feeling of stress-free clarity while relaxing the body and motivating the mind. “It kind of helps you be the best you,” says Chris Gruler, Jubi’s chief marketing officer.

Jubi’s ingredients, which include naturally occurring amino acid 5-HTP, theanine and small amounts of caffeine, have been clinically proven to boost serotonin levels in the brain, enhance communication and increase clarity for up to 12 hours.

“When we formulated it, we wanted to have something that would do more than just get people caffeinated and give them a good buzz for a little bit and then crash,” says CEO Ryan Bader. “We wanted something that would last all day and bring down stress levels, but at the same time give you that focused energy.”

Bader believes it’s a great alternative to highly caffeinated beverages such as sodas, energy drinks, coffee and prescription “study drugs.”

“If you’re studying for a big final and you need to stay focused, Jubi helps out with that immensely,” Gruler adds.

According to Bader, they’ve also received emails from soldiers who say Jubi has alleviated their PTSD.  “It’s really cool to see that it’s actually out there helping people,” he says.

A LEARNING CURVE

For both Bader and Gruler, being a student at ASU set them up for success in their business ventures and beyond.

Bader was on ASU’s wresting team, an experience that propelled him to pursue a thriving professional MMA career. His time at the university also provided the networking experiences he needed to ultimately build the Jubi business. “I know what it’s like to get a desired result by working hard,” he says. “I know what to do and take those steps to achieve (a goal) and give it my everything.”

Gruler is currently a venture mentor in the Entrepreneurship + Innovation program at the university.  “It’s awesome because I get to give back to the entrepreneurship program that helped me so immensely,” he says.

What words of wisdom does he impart on aspiring entrepreneurs?

“There’s multiple things that come into play when launching a business and I think a lot of people think the idea of being an entrepreneur is really easy, but the consistency and grind… not a lot of people have the ability or willingness to do that,” he says. “Part of starting a business is the ability to take no for an answer because you’re going to be told ‘No’ quite a bit. Usually the ones that sacrifice, put their head down, go after it, execute and have a great strategy and develop themselves are usually the ones that are successful and build something that’s substantial.”

According to Bader, Jubi’s first year was marked by successes and mistakes. It made them resilient.

“We learned from those mistakes and we did a lot of networking and connected with the right people,” he says. “When you screw up, it’s not the end of the world. You get a tough skin and put one foot in front of the other and move on in tough situations.”

In five years, he hopes Jubi will be synonymous with other popular energy supplements on the market.

“We’re a small business right now and we just want to keep growing and we can because we have a good product,” Bader says. “We’re going to do it right, do it slow and get to where we want to go.”

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