The main product of Thrive+, “After-Alcohol Aid,” which Powell developed as an undergraduate at the University, has two key benefits: it reduces short-term alcohol withdrawal and assists the liver in processing alcohol. Ultimately, it reduces alcohol’s negative next-day side effects.
“Thrive+ makes alcohol a healthier and happier experience,” Powell told the ‘Prince’ in an interview on Tuesday, Feb. 20.
At the University, Powell participated in the Men’s Swimming and Diving Team and was a member of Cloister Inn and Princeton Faith and Action. He was also a recipient of the Tiger Entrepreneur Award and participated in the Keller Center’s eLab Summer Accelerator Program.
Powell had the idea for Thrive+ during his sophomore year at the University while in a neuroscience class. By February 2017, Powell and his co-founders decided to try to get onto the show “Shark Tank.”
Powell was unable to comment on the audition process.
While 40,000 companies applied to be on Shark Tank’s ninth season, only 92 made it.
Thrive+ currently produces two products, one being the , and the other being the “” (Oral Rehydration Solution). ORS assists the body in rehydration, and is based off of clinical research done by the World Health Organization. After-Alcohol Aid is gluten free, and ORS is vegan. Both products are meant to be taken before going to bed after having consumed alcohol, but After-Alcohol Aid is most effective if taken closer to the time of one’s last drink. The company recommends taking the products .
An investor, whose identity Powell did not disclose, played an important role in the building of Thrive+.
“We raised 200,000 dollars from a private investor who specializes in pharmaceuticals,” Powell said. “We went from 50,000 dollars a year, 1,000 dollars a week to a little north of 10,000 dollars a day, and 4 million dollars a year.”
Powell also had advice for students looking to pursue their own startup.
"The best time to build a business is while in college because there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that comes with starting a business you don’t really see," Powell said.
Filing limited liability company paperwork, filing patents, trying to find mentors and advisers, building a network, and figuring out a supply chain are just a handful of the elements Powell had to consider while working to build Thrive+ with his co-founders.
Mentors were a large part of Powell’s success. One of the company’s advisers is Stanton Peele, an award-winning psychologist with a specialization in alcohol addiction.
Currently, there are two equity-holding University biotechnology professors sitting on the advisory board of Thrive+. Using Sponsored Research Agreements, Thrive+ conducts all of its research and development on the University’s campus.
Brooks Powell and Thrive+ will be on “Shark Tank” this Sunday, Feb. 25 at 10 p.m. Eastern Time on ABC.