Today, Inc. Magazine published its 2016 ‘30 Under 30’ list, an annual roundup of impressive young entrepreneurs. Featured within are Hillary Lewis of Lumi Organics and Tatiana Birgisson of Mati Energy, two upstart CEOs representing the beverage industry on the list.
Lewis, 30, founded Lumi in 2013 while working towards her MBA at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. She’s since taken her high pressure processed (HPP) juice brand from its Charlottesville, Va. manufacturing facility — where the company owns and operates its own HPP machine — to retailers across the country, including Whole Foods and The Fresh Market. Lewis revealed to Inc. that Lumi did $1 million in sales in 2015 and is currently in the process of raising additional capital through a strategic partnership.
Similarly, Birgisson, 26, came up with the idea for Mati Energy in 2012 while she was a student at Duke University. What began as a dorm room concoction of carbonated fruit juice and guayusa — the naturally-caffeinated leaf native to the Amazon — soon became a beverage brand that offered a healthier alternative to traditional energy drinks like Red Bull. Mati reached in $1 million in sales in 2015 and, according to Inc., has a valuation of $5.5 million. The energy drinks are sold at Whole Foods Markets across the grocer’s Southeast region and also authorized for placement at Kroger and Costco.
“The growth has been incredible,” Birgisson said. “We’re roughly growing 4x year over year, so it’s a lot of changes. It’s challenging and exciting but I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”
At the top of 2016, Forbes published its own “30 Under 30” list, which included Annie Lawless, co-founder of Suja Juice, and Maria Littlefield, co-founder of Owl’s Brew cocktail mixers.