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Sept. 27, 2022

Noah Gray (Onda) - How he's Scaling Shay Mitchell's Tequila Seltzer Brand

Noah Gray (Onda) - How he's Scaling Shay Mitchell's Tequila Seltzer Brand

Our guest today is Noah Gray, co-founder CEO of Onda. Onda is a sparkling tequila brand famously co-founded by Shay Mitchell. We discuss how Onda came to be, how Shay became involved, the intersection of celebrity and consumer, his fundraising and retail strategy. Without further ado, here’s Noah.

I ask him:

  1. How did you end up in the beverage space? What attracted you to build an RTD tequila brand?
  2. Was the plan to always offer a product with zero sugar/carbs? Was it your consumer asking or was the market already going that way and you felt it necessary to offer a SKU that offered zero sugar/carb
  3. Drinking to enhance
  4. What was the insight that led you to founding Onda? What was missing from the market? How did Shay Mitchell become involved?
  5. Many celebrities and athletes are wanting to be associated with a consumer product, ranging from beverage to cosmetics. What has Shay done for the brand aside from her social media responsibilities?
  6. What’s your advice for founders who might partner with talent?
  7. How did you think about distribution?
  8. When did you think Onda started to resonate with consumers?
  9. What was your approach to raising capital?
  10. Of course, the category continues to grow and with low barriers to entry, there are a lot of players. Seems like Onda has raised considerably more capital than many of the other brands. How is that money being put to use? Are you simply buying distribution/customers or how does that convert to velocity?
  11. What was the most non-obvious thing you’ve learned since founding Onda?
  12. Vice clauses
  13. Better-for-you
  14. What do you think about the competitive landscape? How do you think about competition?
  15. What’s one book that has inspired you personally and one book that has inspired you professionally?
    1. Professionally: Mission in a Bottle - Seth and Barry
    2. Personally: Paul Anderson - Liquorice pizza
  16. What’s one piece of advice for entrepreneurs?