A 2015 Startup Day alum, Bryan Crosby founded his company, FunLPro Technology LLC, to capitalize on a pouring device his father invented to simplify the process of transferring fluids. His patented closure system provides a lengthy, extendible, and directional pouring spout within the closure system itself, and eliminates the need to purchase, store, and reuse separate pouring devices such as traditional funnels, which can result in spills and contamination due to cross mixing of fluids.
Since Startup Day 2015, Crosby has graduated from the University of Tennessee with his MBA and is focusing his energies on FunLPro full time. His current push includes breaking into the retail market. The company has two product offerings: an Integrated Product that is bottled directly onto the container and available at point of sale, and a Retail Cap segment that can be purchased at select retailers and added on to whichever fluid a customer chooses. FunLPro Integrated Caps are currently available on KenJo Lubricants in all of their retail locations. Crosby plans to bring the Retail Caps into major distribution this fall. Also in the works is a line of private label products, one of which, FunLPro’s Magna 1 brand, is being marketed to over 80,000 convenience store chains through AATAC.
Marketing is a major focus for Crosby, who is working with his Dad to meet with potential customers and attend networking events and trade shows. He has brought on several new partners to help with marketing, social media, and operations. Crosby aims to grow strategically and foresees transitioning FunLPro into a licensing company in the next 3-5 years.
FunLPro was recently nominated by Plastics News, the largest trade journal in the consumer packaged goods industry, for their inaugural Plastic Caps and Closures Innovation Awards.
What started out as a digital-out-of-home media business that provided local news and advertising to pump top television screens at Knoxville-area gas stations in 2009, has since evolved into a predictive analytics software company that supports convenience store retailers’ quest to drive high profit margin products and services.
NewsBreak is the brainchild of President/CEO Bob Bradley, a 2014 Knoxville Startup Day alum who became an investor in the company in 2011. He’s since taken the start-up digital company to national prominence. NewsBreak’s programmatic merchandising platform converts fuel-only customers to multi-product purchasers and is currently available across 5 states, with expected growth to reach 300 convenience stores by the end of this year, up from 88 locations at the end of 2014. Earlier this year, NewsBreak opened its first site in the state of Utah through a strategic partnership with Sinclair Oil and Bennett Pump Company. The deal makes NewsBreak available to not only 1,400 Sinclair branded stations in 19 states, but the 6,000 fueling retailer locations across the U.S that are currently served by the third largest fuel pump manufacturer in the world, Bennett Pump Company.
NewsBreak continues to enhance their software capabilities through the implementation of predictive marketing and dynamic data analytics. The development efforts are being led by Co-Founder & COO Brian Nelson, who has a background in statistical analytics and experimental psychology. The platform now utilizes historical sales and key consumer buying variable data, like unit sales, market basket, temperature, and household income to build contextual content management rules for each retail location. The content management system then delivers a relevant playlist of merchandising messages to pump-to TV and in-store screen networks. Once deployed, the software creates a feedback loop by continually updating new sales and consumer buying variable data to inform and adapt the contextual rules, resulting in adjustments to the playlist.
NewsBreak is proudly based in Knoxville, and remains committed to being headquartered in East Tennessee.