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Homework and ingenuity produces light-up bottle

What started as a school project has resulted in the launch of a new product, TY KU, “the world’s only sake liqueur,” in a one-of-a-kind bottle that lights up.

Pw 8786 Rl Tyku

TY KU and its “enlightening” packaging represent the ingenuity of two entrepreneurs, Kirk Spahn and Trent Ulicny. The concept was hatched as part of a business class project at Columbia University that three years later became a reality for their own start-up company, Ty Ku Intl., Manhasset, NY. Ty Ku debuted in Las Vegas in January with New York next. It sells for around $30 at select retail locations.

“It would have been a lot quicker had we had some kind of a packaging guru, but we didn’t,” says Spahn. “We really taught ourselves because we did the entire packaging, the bottle design, everything from scratch.”

“We went around the world trying to put this together,” adds Ulicny. In fact, China proved the source for the frosted bottle, as well as packaging production for the product. The sake comes from Japan.

Producing a bottle that lights up on its own is a major achievement within the beverage and spirits market: the bottle lights up only when lifted to conserve batteries and create more of a sensation at bars and nightclubs. The bottle-lighting technology, via the LED housed in a sealed membrane in the base, is patent-pending worldwide.

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