ABC’s Shark Tank is an intense way for budding startups to achieve funding, and preparation for an appearance on the show goes far beyond just the pitch and presentation.
On a recent episode, entrepreneur Jayla Siciliano, Founder and CEO of Bon Affair, struck gold with the Mark Cuban Companies. Bon Affair, a Rackspace Startup Program company, makes a premium wine spritzer and boasts two tasty offerings: Sauv Bon, a citrusy white wine spritzer and Syrah Bon, a refreshing red wine spritzer.
Siciliano credits friends at Diesel and Burton, and their frequent happy hours, for sparking the idea for Bon Affair. On a working trip to Hong Kong, she was inspired to create a new brand of wine spritzers. After two weeks of toasting co-workers, she had a vision – a lighter, everyday wine option that fit her professional, healthy lifestyle.
”After years of working in the fashion/action sports industry and being a fitness enthusiast, I discovered the need for a lighter, healthier wine option that didn’t exist on the market,” explains Siciliano.
Siciliano made it her mission to create the perfect wine spritzers. She quit her job to create a better, modern spritzer worthy of America’s burgeoning wine culture. Between MBA classes, she consulted beverage experts. The spritzers had to fit within her specific ideals: they had to be real wine and all natural, with zero added sugar. She added electrolytes to the mix, and after four years, Bon Affair launched with a white and red wine spritzer offering that met Siciliano’s very scientific criteria based on the question: “Is it kind of awesome?”
“Bon Affair first launched here in Solana Beach, Calif. at one of my favorite places to shop, Whole Foods Market, our first account,” says Siciliano.
And when the team was notified of the airing of the Shark Tank episode, Bon Affair was introduced to Rackspace.
“Rackspace was recommended to us by our web experts,” Siciliano says.
The ability to handle site traffic to scale when Shark Tank airs is crucial for a startup. So, in conjunction with the Bon Affair web team, Rackspace deployed specialists from its Digital and Cloud Launch teams to consult on and properly configure the site so Bon Affair’s appearance went off without a hitch.
Siciliano says her love for health, fitness and having fun drives the passion at Bon Affair. In 2014, following her stellar Shark Tank appearance, Siciliano says she plans to continue making her spritzer vision pop.
“Selling throughout California, leading the trend for the spritzer revolution. We just recently started selling at Nordstrom, which is an exciting new account for us,” she says.
The Rackspace Startup Program helped Bon Affair prepare for its Shark Tank appearance on ABC, which gave its new brand of wine spritzers great exposure. Drop the Startup Team a note and let us know if you need help building your startup.