Not all brainstorms are as mind-blowing as Chipotle, the fast-casual chain that Steve Ells founded in Colorado two decades ago. Some brainstorms are really more of a trickle. Brainstorms like the BevBuckle, which will land a local inventor on the season premiere of ABC's Shark Tank tonight.
A Texas boy who liked to rest his bottle of beer on his waistband, Jay Kriner got the idea for the BevBuckle (originally named the Beer Buckle) while he was in college at Texas State University. He needed a place to rest his beer bottle, and decided to create a contraption that would do the job: a belt buckle that folds down, with a spring-loaded brass ring that pops up from the inside, securing the beer.
After Kriner moved to Colorado, he kept working to perfect his invention even while holding down a full-time job. He finally felt the BevBuckle was ready for its public debut at the 2008 Great American Beer Festival, and since then, his Central City-based company has added a few other items to its beery line. But the BevBuckle remains the star. "It's motivational, it's fun," says Kriner, who'll be touting the BevBuckle on the season premiere of the ABC reality show. "It's what America needs -- something to believe in again and simply be the next dumb idea that we all love."
And dumb it definitely is.
Still dumber things have gotten the attention of the billionaires on Shark Tank.
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From belt buckles to big burritos. Read about the latter in "Chipotle's Steve Ells named 'America's Most Inspiring CEO' by Esquire