Aged whiskey in a day – not years
Traditional whiskey can take 6 to 12 years to age in oak barrels, but demand for these products has created shortages that established distilleries can’t meet.
Cleveland Whiskey uses disruptive technology (including pressure variations and oxygenation) to reduce maturation time from years and years to less than 24 hours. Yet its spirits are extraordinary high quality, as evidenced by the 8 Gold Medals its won in global competitions.
To appeal to the fastest-growing segment of the $25 billion whiskey market — premium flavor extensions — it’s also developing new whiskey flavors by using transformative woods like black cherry, apple and hickory.
The company aims to out-compete traditional distilleries, reinvigorate the craft spirit movement, and become the world’s largest producer of “just in time” whiskey.
– $1 million in 2015 revenues.
– ~50% year-over-year growth in 2016, when it hit profitability.
– Won Gold Medal at 2016 San Francisco International Spirits Competition (as well as many other Gold Medals.)
– In 3,600 blind taste tests, 54% preferred its whiskey over Knob Creek.
– Holds U.S. patent 8,889,206 as well as carefully-guarded trade secrets.
– 166,857 bottles sold in 12 states and 6 countries.
– Whiskey is a $25 billion market; 44% of this market’s growth in 2015 came from new flavors.
Tom Lix – CEO
Tom Lix is Cleveland Whiskey’s founder and CEO.
Inspired by the 1970 film MASH, Lix first learned distilling while stationed on a US Navy Destroyer just prior to its decommissioning.
With considerable help from an “almost” retired Chief Boiler Technician, he learned to make bootleg spirits from fermented fruit juice, discarded steel piping and patched up sea-water condensers. It was in the Navy where he learned everything from welding and thermo dynamics to basic mechanical engineering.
More recently he was the Director of the Burton D. Morgan and Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation funded Center for Entrepreneurship at Lake Erie College as well as an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at the same institution.
He was the President and Chairman of application services provider Public Interactive® which he founded in 1995 and the former President of Market Pulse™, a Cambridge based database software company and subsidiary of Computer Corporation of America.
Previously, he was President and Chief Operating Officer of Yankelovich Partners, where he consulted for leading food, beverage, hospitality and entertainment companies including Guinness PLC, Proctor & Gamble, H. J. Heinz Company, Unilever, PepsiCo, The Clorox Company, Burger King, Harrah’s Entertainment and the InterContinental Hotel Group PLC.
In addition, Lix has consulted to leading media companies and brands such as HBO®, Time magazine, and MTV Networks; travel and transportation companies including American Airlines, Amtrak and Northwest Airlines; as well as service delivery and technology innovators that included FedEx® and Visa.
Tom earned his Doctorate in Business Administration, with an emphasis in marketing, from Boston University.
Economic and Community Development Institute
ECDI’s mission is to invest in people to create measurable and enduring social and economic change. Since its inception in 2004, ECDI has disbursed over $29 million in loans.
Innovation Fund Northeast Ohio
The regions most active seed fund for technology startups. It pairs entrepreneur-friendly funding with intensive business mentoring to help the most promising young companies grow.
Northcoast Opportunities Technology Fund
Funds early-stage Cuyahoga County technology companies, focusing on high-growth companies that are candidates for future capital investment.