Editors’ note; In the first of a series profiling the latest winners of NC IDEA grants as reported earlier by WRAL TechWire, ExitEvent Editor Laura Baverman reports about energy drink startup Mati Energy, which is based in Durham. ExitEvent is a news partner of WRAL TechWire. 


DURHAM, N.C. - Mati Energy’s journey into national grocery stores proves a lot can happen in six months.

ExitEvent wrote about the Durham-based energy drink company in July when founder Tatiana Birgisson was chosen as one of four Triangle women to join the SOAR mentoring network, a new organization with a mission to help women raise money to grow their businesses within a year. On Friday, Birgisson told me she’s since hired a full-time employee to manage a growing relationship with Whole Foods Markets—her healthy tea-based energy drinks are now on shelves throughout the Southeast.

In 2015, she’ll roll out in 230 Kroger stores (about 9 percent of the chain’s footprint) and begin a test in six Costco warehouses. Additional research and development, and technology, helped her develop a process for making the drink shelf-stable for the first time.

She’s also expanding the product line beyond orange lime. A cherry flavored drink, which she calls “dangerously delicious,” will be unveiled in January.

Helping all this expansion is an NC IDEA grant, announced today by the Durham foundation. Says Birgisson, who founded the company as a Duke University entrepreneurship student, “The funds will be used to help us scale from a central NC business to a southeastern business.”

The full story can be read at ExitEvent.