Posted Jan. 5, 2017 at 7:34 a.m.

MATI Energy founder Tatina Birgisson cracks Forbes 30-under-30 list

Published: 2017-01-05 07:34:02
Updated: 2017-01-05 07:34:02


Tatina Birgisson, the Triangle entrepreneur who created and launched her now-blossoming energy drink business while a student at Duke University, is among millennials making Forbes' latest 30-under-30 list.

It's the second 30-under-30 honor for the 27-year-old, who landed a spot on a similar list from Inc. magazine last year.

Birgisson made the Food & Drink list as well as the "Dorm Founders" group for her efforts in building MATI Energy.

Tatiana BirgissonThe honor comes after a strong year for the company, which opened a new production facility, raised more than $2 million in venture capital, launched distribution nationally, and also added new flavors. MATI can produce up to 1 million cans of beverage a month, and its products are sold online as well as in Whole Foods, Earth Fare, Lowes Foods and Kroger.

Birgisson's rise as an entrepreneur has been rapid since launching the company four years ago. Winning a national Google entrepreneurial event not only boosted her profile but also helped her land investors.

And the company is doing well.

“MATI is growing at an industry-leading 130 percent year-over-year," Birgisson noted in a statement.

Her plans for 2017 are just as aggressive with in-store expansion planned for several additional states.

Forbes screens thousands of applicants for the honors, which total 600 spread across 20 lists.

MATI energy drink “I was initially encouraged to apply by Lisa Fetterman, CEO and Founder of Nomiku last summer. Lisa served as a reference for me in applying for the award. Her help demonstrates the power of a network of female supporters," Birgisson says.

The Duke graduate is the daughter of immigrants from Venezuela and Iceland.

With help from Duke University's entrepreneurial resources and from The American Underground where MATI was incubated, the company and its founder are examples of Durham's growing startup ecosystem, says Adam Klein, who is chief strategist at the Underground.

“Tatiana’s Forbes honor is another demonstration of just how powerfully Durham’s startup community punches above its weight," he says. "Her drive and her company’s success is an inspiration to everyone in this talented, ambitious and close-knit community.”  

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