Nick Kubiak of Tasters Tablet
Meet Nick Kubiak, founder of Tasters Tablet
, an intuitive invention that allows wine tasters to take notes during a tasting.
What is Tasters Tablet?
Tasters Tablet is an innovative board that allows wine tasters to carry their wine glass while taking notes. It is ergonomically designed for comfortable handling and customizable for personalization or advertisement.
How did you come up with the idea?
I have been in the wine industry for about 10 years, and over that time I recognized the need for wine tasters to keep notes on what they liked at wine tastings and wine events. One night I was at a dinner party and was using a cocktail plate that carried a wine glass. I thought that this would be perfect if only it had a clipboard attached to it. So the very next day I drew a design and started cutting prototypes out of foam board.
What was the biggest surprise in starting your business?
Wow! There are surprises every day when starting your own business. But the biggest would have to be how much support there is for new business owners. The startup community is very cool. From sharing resources to offering advice and support, there’s really a great feeling of camaraderie.
What does a typical day in your business look like?
There are no days right now that ever look the same. I start with making a to-do list and then attacking it. As a startup, a lot of my time right now is dedicated to finding customers, connecting and closing sales.
What are some of the advantages to doing business in Toledo?
Toledo has been full of resources for me. From the SBDC
, to my attorney, bank, manufacturer, web and identity developers – I’ve found everything that I needed to get started just by networking a little and asking a few questions.
What resources or organizations in Toledo did you take advantage of and how did they help?
I used the Northwest Ohio SBDC when I first started with my idea. They were a good sounding board and helped me become aware of all the little underpinnings of starting a business. I networked with EPIC
, participated in Startup Weekend Toledo
, and competed in the Northwest Ohio Innovation Challenge
where I earned second place and some startup funds.
Can you share a funny or amazing entrepreneurial experience with our readers?
As not only an entrepreneur but also an inventor, I am always humbled when someone gets excited about what I created. The Bordo Tasters Tablet was launched at the Boston Wine Expo earlier this month. We handed out a few promo boards to members of the wine trade that seemed really excited about it. One of the gentlemen that we gave a board to used it all day long and loved it. He came back to the booth to thank us for the board, and while at the booth, he was approached by a business colleague who wanted to shake his hand. Since his board was in one hand and his glass the other, he didn’t have a free hand to shake. And then he had his “Aha!” moment. He immediately took his glass and docked it in the glass holder of the Tasters Tablet and shook hands with his friend, gleaming from ear to ear. To see someone really understand the usefulness of this product was wonderful.
What inspires you?
People who get a lot of stuff done. I’m amazed by everyday people who can manage a lot of tasks with skill, grace, and creativity. I always have a lot of irons in the fire and sometimes loose my momentum or get tired. Then I’ll talk with someone who is telling me about all the great stuff they’re doing, and it puts my condition into perspective and I keep moving.
What founders do you admire and why?
I’ve been a long time admirer of Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers. They prove to me that your drive to succeed and persevere is more important than anything else. Probably like most entrepreneurs, I’ve struggled with money, confidence, and have taken a long time to actually launch into the market. These men remind me that all that is ok. It’s ok to fail as long as you keep dusting yourself off and moving forward with no loss of momentum.
What’s next for you?
I’ll be promoting and selling this 100-percent made in Toledo product at the Glass City Wine Festival
Interview by Joe Baur