College students are no strangers to the late-nighter. Many have even become familiar with the all-nighter, greeting them weekly, instead of a goodnight’s sleep. Ryan Dolan, like other students, has seen fellow students move on from the innocent coffee and Red Bull to abusing amphetamines.
During his senior year of high school, Dolan noticed more of his friends taking drugs like Adderall, Vyvanse and even cocaine to stay awake. He said that when he came to the College, it only got worse.
“I was just surprised that there was nothing, like there was no alternative,” Dolan said. “There was nothing where we can go into a store and say ‘I’m looking to focus.’ And they’ll say ‘Oh, take this.’”
Dolan wanted to try to stop this trend, and in July 2011, the idea of creating an alternative to drugs came to him. The sophomore finance major is now the CEO of Naderol, an all-natural, non-prescription, dietary supplement and focus enhancer.
Naderol can be used by anybody from the late-night studier to the early-morning worker. Unlike energy drinks such as Red Bull, which can make someone feel jittery, Naderol is intended to help you zone in and really focus, Dolan said. It varies from person to person, but Naderol’s effects usually last from four to six hours.
“There’s nothing that’s a focus-driven nutrition and we are kind of being that first step forward where it’s like you don’t necessarily need to take a drug if you need to focus,” Dolan said. “We are trying to say that the regular old student or worker or anyone that kind of reaches for those drugs illegally or without a prescription, we are saying ‘No, here. This is the first food that can make your brain focus instantly.’”
Starting out, Naderol had their fair share of setbacks. Just as they were ready to start selling Naderol, the FDA changed their regulations on dietary supplements. After Naderol raised enough money and altered their product accordingly, they were ready to go under production. Then about six months ago, their copackers misplaced about $7,000 worth of Naderol’s material.
“They tried avoiding us,” Dolan said. “I’m dealing with 45-and-50-years olds and they’re acting like teenagers, when we’re the teenagers trying to act like businessmen.”
Naderol decentralized from their Dallas location and moved their production to Florida after this issue with the copackers.
Naderol is not Dolan’s first experience with business. In fifth grade he and a couple friends made skateboard decks, buying blank ones from China and airbrushing their own designs on them. Last year Dolan worked with two other students at the College to create an online magazine service, winning them the Mayo Business contest. So having always been in business, he had a few connections.
“I didn’t know anything about the industry, I didn’t know regulations or anything like that, so there is a guy in my town and he made a shot called Relaxzen, and it was the first relaxation shot.” Dolan said. “(Nick West) had a little background in the industry, and he knew some people he put us in touch with.”
West‘s son, Tim West, a sophomore at Monmouth University and Dolan paired up to help put Naderol on the market. Tim West, the COO of Naderol and Dolan work with another student, Luke Roskowinski, a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania and CFO of Naderol. Nick West gave them contact to Pete Maletto, a formulator who they worked with to create the actual product.
“(Maletto) has formulated Muscle Milk, and a million other products that are on shelves. So he’s, you know, really reputable,” Dolan said. Maletto worked under cognitive scientists such as Durk Pearson, the author of ‘Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach,’ as well as Dr. Robert Atkins, best known for the Atkins Diet.
“Then we reached out to the guys who own Six Hour Power,” Dolan said.
“They put us in touch with a bottle broker. He put us in touch with a copacker.”
Naderol is now partnered up with Dream Water, an all-natural drug-free sleep shot, whose founders started the company when they were college students.
“It all just kinda fell together. We talked to one person, and they gave us advice and they gave us another number, and we met with them and it just kinda tumble-weeded,” Dolan said.
According to Dolan, Naderol’s next step is to collect data and improve their product, hoping to adjust the grape flavor of Naderol to give it a smoother taste.
Although Naderol is not yet in stores, their online sales which started just a month ago have already brought in $6,000 in sales and sent over 3,000 bottles across the country. Sales are mostly concentrated in the tri-state area, but their campus representative system has helped bring sales all the way from California to New Orleans.
“If you have an idea, just make your first step. Your first step turns to walking then running, and now it’s a full on sprint,” Dolan said. “And it’s like we just made one step and it just kinda happened.”