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Big Aspirations

Aspire is sold in the school's cafeteria and is frequently seen in students' hands.

Aspire is sold in the school's cafeteria and is frequently seen in students' hands.

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From an idea sketched out on a napkin to a product on the shelves of large retail stores, Jesse Parker, the inventor of Aspire, made his dream become a reality. Nearly three and a half years ago, Parker, a Victoria resident, noticed a problem in the sports drinks his children were drinking and did something about it.

After consulting with a friend who worked with the Mayo Clinic. Parker discovered that one of the major causes of childhood obesity was sports drinks because they contained so much sugar. His friend from the Mayo Clinic soon became his business partner, and they began to create Aspire.

“We got together and we decided to do something about it, and we formulated a beverage. Looked at a lot of different research, what would be the best sports drink for young athletes, and we came up with Aspire. And got it on some shelves and away we went,” Parker said. “It was a pretty big undertaking and we’re competing against some very large companies like Gatorade and Powerade, but ourselves and the company are committed to do what’s right,”

When Parker began Aspire, he said it was for his children and for the children he coached, but as his company grew he was soon doing it for all young athletes. For him, Aspire is about making a difference in students and young athletes lives.

“There’s about 24 to 36 feet of shelf space dedicated to sports drinks in larger grocery stores, we don’t see any reason why that can’t be all healthy products,” Parker said. “We’re really just trying to make a difference,”

Parker’s son, Jack, and a junior at Chanhassen High School, has been one of his father’s biggest supporters. Jack has helped his father with Aspire by helping in parades and promoting Aspire at school.

“It’s fun for me too, doing Aspire,” Jack said. “I wish I could help out more.”

Although it has been challenging for Jack to have a father who is creating a company. He could not be more proud, he looks up to his father and hopes to be like him.

“My dad’s a great guy and I love him to death,” Jack said.

Being a startup company in such a competitive market has been one of the biggest challenges according to Parker. Especially when he’s facing large companies such as Gatorade and Powerade. When competing against these large companies, Parker said it makes it challenging to grow revenue every year.

“We just keep fighting, we just keep doing what we need to do to try to make the company successful and really the biggest challenge for us is to continue to grow revenue year over year, continue to expand into new markets and continue to grow a business,” Parker said.

Inventing Aspire gave Parker the opportunity to be involved in an organization called DECA. He and his partner get to mentor and help high school students.

“It’s a lot of fun creating a company out of nothing and that’s great. But I still really enjoy mentoring, teaching, and kinda giving back to some of the individuals that are just coming out of high school and on their way to college,” Parker said.

Parker said his ultimate goal is to change the industry. He wants to change the way Gatorade and Powerade do business. He added that he also wants to influence them to create healthier products for kids.

“But personally I just want to see Gatorade and Powerade change their ways. And the only way you can ever really do that is you gotta force them to make a change, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Parker said.

Parker shared that he wants to spread the awareness about energy drinks whether that be through social media or people.

“They need to be enhanced, they need to be healthier, that would be fantastic,” Parker said.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Big Aspirations”

  1. Deb Ullrich on October 18th, 2016 4:00 pm

    This was a very interesting article to read and I thought that my niece Anna, wrote it very eloquently. She sounded like a pro! 😉

    I am so happy to see this kind of start up industries. We do need healthier alternatives, not only for our youth, but for the general population.

    Keep up the good work Anna and Jesse…you inspire me to promote your aspirations. 😉 Going to share on FB

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