By Ashley Marcus
After securing a deal on ABC’s “Shark Tank” for her collapsible cardboard “BZbox,” College senior Kaeya Majmundar is jumping back into the entrepreneurial waters with her second innovation: the ZipTank, a tank top that zips shut and becomes a washable tote bag.
The idea for the ZipTank was inspired by a friend’s ordinary plastic bag, and it got her thinking of ways to transform that bag into a tank top, Majmundar wrote in an email to the Wheel.
Majmundar wrote that she eventually came to the realization that adding a zipper to the bottom of a tank top creates a whole new dimension to an otherwise mundane object.
After successfully presenting her idea at both the 2014 National Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization Conference and the National Elevator Pitch Competition, Majmundar used her prize money to pay for patent applications, manufacturing and the development of a production team.
While ZipTanks are currently produced locally, Majmundar wrote that she hopes they will go into mass production in China and start selling in stores by summer 2015, around the time Majmundar crosses the stage to receive her diploma.
However, according to Majmundar, before she can begin manufacturing ZipTanks on a large scale, she must first raise $25,000 to cover the cost of the ZipTank website, manufacturing, account management and distribution.
“I’ll be raising capital, spreading the word about the product, branding it and trying to get as many orders as possible so I can have the physical product ready in time,” Majmundar wrote.
Thanks to her experience on “Shark Tank,” Majmundar’s approach to marketing and distributing her newest product is a bit different this time around.
“I learned so much from my mistakes with BZbox and have been able to apply that to my approach with ZipTank,” Majmundar wrote. “For example, I am going straight for the big clients first instead of starting off with smaller guys and working my way up. A good product is a good product, and the big guys will recognize that regardless.”
Additionally, the ZipTanks’ design can be customized and is made up of either mesh or cotton.
In an effort to cater to the Millennial generation, Majmundar wrote that she has arranged a deal with Adam Block Designs, a company that supplies sororities with customizable apparel in bulk, and Custom Ink for individual customers to design their own ZipTanks.
Though Majmundar recommends either Senior Associate Dean Andrea Hershatter’s or Distinguished Lecturer in Entrepreneurship Charles Goetz’s entrepreneurship classes in the Goizueta Business School, she wrote that she actually used more of Georgia Tech’s resources when she started her ventures
Despite what Majmundar wrote was the lack of entrepreneurial resources available at Emory at the time, she has forged ahead with her innovations and begun to leave a legacy behind in her senior year.
In recognizing a lapse in the educational opportunity for those looking to pursue a similar path, she wrote that she has been heavily involved with bringing entrepreneurial resources to campus.
On January 20, Emory University will be opening the E3Living Lab, in Few Hall for both aspiring and established entrepreneurs to create innovations of their own.
Furthermore, she will be partnering with Emory Entrepreneurship and Venture Management Club, Emory University’s first entrepreneurship organization, to mentor five to six teams working on their own projects through the E3 Living Lab.
A student, an entrepreneur, and, now, a mentor, Majmundar still manages to think of new ideas while simultaneously fulfilling her multiple roles.
“I do have so many product ideas,” she wrote, “but I’m really trying to concentrate my focus on what I’m already working on, so I’m holding off on creating any more until I’ve done the job well with BZbox and ZipTank.”
In aiming to further establish her product, Majmundar wrote that a second appearance on Shark Tank or a similar business pitch venture would certainly be a possibility.
Majmundar’s efforts will only intensify with her upcoming graduation.
In her Kickstarter video for ZipTank, she said, “I want to walk across that stage, straight to my warehouse to work on ZipTanks full time.”
– By Ashley Marcus, Staff Writer