During the 6th semester of the BSc in Business Administration – Banking and Finance, I have founded MAZU – a beverage company producing MAZU HARD SELTZER – together with two fellow students, Björn Thieme and Moritz Groppel. This is the story how it happened.
As you may know, a mandatory part of the BSc in Business Administration is an internship abroad. I have completed mine at Deutsche Bank in New York. Living in New York is awesome. The cultural diversity, the architecture, the people – all of this make New York to one of my favorite cities worldwide.
My time at Deutsche Bank was great. I had fantastic colleagues and was able to learn a lot. However, what made it particularly remarkable was the time after work. New York offers endless possibilities to go out. This was the first time I discovered Hard Seltzer. Because of its clear taste, the great nutrition facts and moderate ABV, it was the perfect drink for literally every situation you can imagine. As a result, the demand for this kind of drink was so high that there has even been a shortage. Revenues quadrupled, while beer’s, for instance, recorded an increase of only less than 1%.
When I came back to Germany, as you can imagine, I was looking for a place to buy my new favorite drink – without success. Although U.S. Hard Seltzer sales had already reached the billion dollar mark, there was no way to buy it in Germany nor the rest of Europe. At this time I thought – why not creating your own brand?
After an extensive due diligence and market research, I saw an opportunity and decided to concretize the plans. I have told my fellow students and good friends Björn Thieme and Moritz Groppel about this idea and they were both fascinated and convinced that the project is feasible with a very good chance of success.
At this time we were sure that we will create our own Hard Seltzer, MAZU HARD SELTZER. Our background is more a financial one, rather than beverages. So we conducted another intense research finding appropriate business partners for the development, the production, legal advisory etc. In April 2020, we have founded MAZU. In June 2020, we have received Venture Capital funding and moved to Berlin.
The decisive part of creating a Hard Seltzer is the recipe. Excise duties on alcohol are quiete strict in Germany. Overcoming this obstacle was not easy. Especially because the product was so innovative and new that even customs authorities were not one hundred percent sure how to treat it. As a result, our R&D was intense and took quieet a long time. We finally launched our first flavor, MAZU HARD SELTZER LIME, in December 2020. Try it out!