OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – From the crack of a baseball bat to the knocking of the nutrient-rich baobab fruit, Jeff Tezak finds his competitive nature drives everything he does.
He’s a former Husker baseball player and volunteer assistant coach for Nebraska now turned businessman.
Jeff and his wife Katy who met at UNL just secured a $100,000 investment into their company: a gut-friendly hydration supplement called Tiiga.
Their company stems from Jeff’s transition from a high-level competitive athlete to your everyday athlete.
“When you’re in it. You eat a full pizza. You can do whatever. You can eat and drink whatever you want when you’re 18 to 21 and you’re performing at the highest level. As you get older, what you notice is like, ‘Hey, I’m going to put in that 30-minute really good workout, but I need to provide some really good nutrients on the back-end or beforehand,'” said Jeff Tezak, CEO of Tiiga.
The investment comes from NMotion’s Growth Accelerator program, a Nebraska-based version of Shark Tank.
“NMotion has raised money from Nebraska-based investors and pulled together funds to invest in Nebraska’s best and brightest,” said Mason Cook, managing director at NMotion.
And while the duo says health products often start on the coast, they intend on using this money to help keep Tiiga a Midwest-based product.
“We want to stay in the Midwest. We want to grow here. We want to put the Midwest on the map for health products,” said Katy Tezak, co-founder of Tiiga.
Jeff, naturally competitive, enjoys that challenge.
“When I get into a situation where somebody says this is a highly competitive industry and you’re like, why would you…I get why you’d want to go to one without it. It’s easier, but it doesn’t make it as fun,” said Jeff.
That’s a quality that attracted the investors to the founders of Tiiga.
“They’re scrappy. They’re resourceful. And they’re really willing to grow,” said Cook.
Being resourceful and coachable is a lesson that Jeff learned from baseball.
“You have to be willing to put in the effort, which is the same as sports, and then you have to be willing to adjust to whatever the situations are or the next potential sale or the next potential opportunity to make sure you’re in the best position to succeed,” said Jeff.
With this investment, Jeff and Katy can ramp up their growth through inventory expansion and marketing. Currently they’re at their production plant doing just that.
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