Graig Mantle

Cal Poly business junior Russell Meyerowitz recently started his own company, which sells lightweight, portable beer pong tables.

OnFIREbeerpong, Inc. launched its Web site July 14, received its inventory and began selling tables in the beginning of September. In the past month, 25 tables have been sold in San Luis Obispo, San Diego and even as far as Oregon and Kansas.

“The West Coast is new to the beer pong industry. It’s way bigger on the East Coast, but it’s blowing up here in colleges and in tournaments in bars,” Meyerowitz said.

Meyerowitz came up with the idea in January 2007 and began researching the beer pong table market to see if anything like his product already existed. He spent several months researching and networking to figure out exactly what he wanted to create and then had to find individuals who could create his idea.

“This whole thing has been such a learning experience,” Meyerowitz said.

Meyerowitz has funded the entire company on his own through mutual funds that he received when he was younger and savings from summer jobs.

He has a manufacturer in China that sends the tables to storage units in the United States, as well as Web site designers, independent contractors and campus representatives at several universities who promote his products and receive commission from the tables they sell.

“It goes to show that the learn-by-doing philosophy at Cal Poly is expressed by what he is doing with his business,” said aerospace engineering senior Matt Pittenger.

The concept of the company is to promote the competitive nature of beer pong and provide individuals with the means to play the game. Each table is regulation size and comes with a carrying case and dry erase board to keep track of both the score and also who plays next.

“It brings people together and brings out the competitive nature. It’s not about promoting alcohol and drinking; all we do is promote the game,” Meyerowitz said.

The original table is $119.99 plus tax and the custom table is $229.99 plus tax. The custom table has personalized colors and designs depending upon what the customer wants it to look like.

Each table folds up into a 4-by-2 foot rectangle and weighs 20 pounds. The table is made out of aluminum and MDF materials, which makes it lightweight and durable.

“Students are taking what they are learning in class and applying it to real world applications,” Pittenger said.

Tables can be purchased on the phone by calling (805) 706-0673 or on the Web site at Tables purchased in San Luis Obispo are delivered for free. Other items such as T-shirts, stickers, bottle openers and balls with the company name and logo can also be purchased.

“Something just came to me and I felt like I just had to do this,” Meyerowitz said.

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