Visit any convenience store, and you’ll see shelves full of energy drinks. But what if you want to relax rather than pumping yourself full of caffeine? That’s the promise of Leilo, the polar opposite of an energy drink. This self-described “calm in a can,” which contains kava, B-vitamins, and l-theanine (an amino acid found primarily in tea and some mushrooms), claims to relax you without alcohol or pharmaceuticals. Sol Broady, the founder of Leilo, joins Startup Savants to share how his startup came to be.
- Startup Savants is a business podcast that tells the stories behind up-and-coming startups.
- Sol Broady, founder of Leilo, joins Startup Savants to discuss launching his beverage startup.
- Inspired by Broady’s trip to Fiji, cava-based Leilo promises to help you relax naturally without drugs or alcohol.
Family Tradition of Entrepreneurship
In his interview with Startup Savants, Broady said he never looked to start a beverage company specifically. But entrepreneurship runs in the family, so he was always looking for business opportunities. He found one on a trip to Fiji, where he learned about kava, a root that Fijians often use in ceremonies.
“The traditional consumption method is to grind it up and put it in a tea bag like a strainer and add lukewarm water in a big bowl, and then muscle out the fibers from the kava into the water for like 30 to 45 minutes,” Broady said during his interview. “And then you sit in a circle, and you say a little prayer and drink out of coconut shells on the beach. It’s an incredibly relaxing, supercool, culturally-immersive experience.”
He learned that Kava has many beneficial properties. It can relieve pain, relax your muscles, serve as an antidepressant, help you sleep, and even boost cognition. He personally experienced many of these benefits, and this inspired him to start a company selling cava-based beverages.
Broady Joins Startups Savants Podcast
In his interview with Startup Savants, Broady explains how he brought his idea to fruition and overcame challenges along the way. One of them was how to process cava at scale and make it taste good.
“The problem that I immediately ran into when I was trying to sample this with friends and family is that I’m not Fijian,” he says during his interview. “We weren’t on a beach. It was taking me way too long to grind the stuff out. It tasted terrible, so people wouldn’t drink it. They were all turning their noses, and then they weren’t feeling the effects because they weren’t drinking enough because it tasted bad. So it was just a massive rejection across the board from all of my [friends and] everyone that I cared about in America.”
Hear more about how Broady overcame this challenge others on the way to founding his startup.
Startup Savants Podcast
The Startup Savants podcast is a business podcast created by The Truly Useful Information Company (TRUiC), bringing listeners the stories behind startups, told by the founders who are working hard to build and scale their companies.
Hosted by Ethan and Annaka, one an entrepreneur and the other a branding expert, the Startup Savants podcast brings together two viewpoints, providing listeners with a well-rounded perspective on the startup ecosystem and business insights.
The hosts interview real startup founders with a variety of backgrounds from around the world, showing listeners how they turned their startup ideas into reality. Learn from experts sharing their industry knowledge on venture capital, securing funding, and more on the Startup Savants podcast.
Sol Broady’s interview on Startup Savants shows listeners how he founded a startup that produces a truly unique, beneficial beverage that’s the antithesis of an energy drink.