John Sherwin, Co-founder of Hydrant Inc, was this weekâs guest on ONE37pmâs Open Dialogue with Phil Toronto. The two discussed what the company is about, what he did before creating Hydrant, and his attempts at building other companies along the way.
âOur original product was a powder drink mix, and it was for hydrating you faster than water alone as we have grown on other wellness verticals. We think of Hydrant as an accessible wellness platform; we have hydration at the core of all our products with functional benefits added on top of it,â said Sherwin.
âSo, right now, we have an energy product, which is Hydrant plus energy, we have an immunity product, which is Hydrant plus immunity, and there will be some more products coming out through 2021 that we are happy to share soon.â
Sherwin was not always in the wellness industry. Before he and his business partner, Jai Jung Kim, started Hydrant, he worked at a tech startup in the Bay Area.
âBefore Hydrant, I was working in the Bay Area at a tech company, and it was a YCBack startup. I was an early employee wearing many different hats with many responsibilities, but it was a fire hose of learning. That is why I went there to learn about tech startups in the land where tech startups came from, some six or seven years ago at this point. So, things have changed, but I was somewhat of a product manager and a business development manager. It was an amazing experience, but as soon as the learning period started to slow down. I started to pursue my passion as I come from a family of entrepreneurs, and a lot of role models pursued that path. My family has been very supportive of me to go out and pursue things,â Sherwin said.
Hydrant was not the only company that Sherwin attempted to start.
âBack in college, I started this priority card to help you get into nightclubs faster. It turns out college towns are usually run by one entertainment company, which operates in a mafia-style. So, I was run out of town before I even got off the ground, and it was a learning experience and something I would do again.
What led him to Hydrant?
âIt started at the university when I was trying to solve the problem of staying hydrated while having a lot of fun in the evening, playing a sport, and studying hard. While studying biology, I am very into science and almost went the medical route, but In the UK, you can do medicine at the same time; there is no pre-med equivalent. So, some of my friends were doctors, and I would watch some of the things that they were doing to manage their performance,â shared Sherwin.
âDoctors are very impressive, and they were drinking this disgusting clinical powder after nights out. I tried it because I was curious, and a huge pharmaceutical company made it, and it made me gag. It wasn’t very good from an experience standpoint. I did feel the difference, which has been the benchmark for all the products we make. Also, all the products that I try make it clear that all the electrolytes are affected. So, I started buying sports drinks, coconut water, and Pedialyte. It started by me trying to solve a problem for myself.â