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Why a group of former Burt's Bees execs are betting on coffee and keto

Zachery Eanes on

Published in Business News

That's where the connections of One Better Ventures -- whose team had experience getting Burt's Bees products on shelves across America -- comes in handy.

Mike Hockenberry, the CEO of Disruptive Enterprises, said that deep bench of connections has helped speed along his company's growth.

"I would say John and those guys have a platinum Rolodex," Hockenberry said. "They have a tremendous amount of contacts. Anytime you are working on something, they know someone somewhere that could help."

In fact, it was a connection to Replogle that got Hockenberry, a former lead buyer at retail giant Target, to relocate to the Triangle. Replogle recruited him away from Target to run Scivation, a Durham-based company that made nutrition supplements, which was sold in 2017.

Hockenberry and his team then stuck around and started Disruptive, which makes food products and supplements for the low-carb keto diet, such as the brands KetoLogic and FBOMB. The company raised $7.75 million from One Better Ventures earlier this year.

To illustrate the benefits of One Better Ventures, Hockenberry said his co-founder Mike McCandless tells a story of an early brainstorming session, when it was suggested the company reach out to Nike about a potential deal. McCandless joked about how futile it would be for him to try to find someone at the sporting goods company to take him seriously.

 

Replogle got his phone out and in 20 minutes set up a meeting between the team and a connection of his at Nike.

"We have a powerful network," Replogle said. "We can help them from talent and recruitment, to brand strategy to brand positioning work, to distribution. We have top retail relationships both in brick and mortar and e-commerce retailers."

LETTING ENTREPRENEURS BE THEMSELVES

One Better Ventures also helps young entrepreneurs learn the ropes of the retail industry.

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