GENESIS: THE PROBLEM
HangOn started as the idea of a group of (overworked) professionals living in New York City.
From our time in the corporate world, we are well aware of the need to wake up each morning and perform at a high level throughout the day (even if the night before involved a few too many drinks). Happy hours, holiday parties and corporate events sprinkled between birthdays and spontaneous meet-ups with friends for drinks led to some rough mornings. Entering our late 20's and early 30's, we realized our bodies were no longer what they were in college.
It was getting harder to enjoy nights out without having to suffer a drop in productivity (accompanied by fatigue, headaches, stomach issues and a general aversion to any activity). We had tried literally every conventional hangover remedy, including: chugging liters of Gatorade or Pedialyte, taking a few ibuprofen capsules, coffee, cold showers, bowls of ramen or pho, greasy diner food, or even trying to go to the gym to "sweat it out", with limited success.
GENESIS: THE PROBLEM
Enough was enough. In summer of 2018, we committed to finding a better solution. We read everything we could find on the topic, including countless academic research papers on the topic. We then cold contacted, met and spoke with 30+ PhD's, academics and researchers who specialized in supplements, hangovers and alcohol to gain a better understanding. After digging into the mechanics and causes of hangovers, we realized that much of the science points to the liver's ability to metabolize and remove the toxic by-product of alcohol, acetaldehyde, from the body.
Then the light bulb went off. We remembered the hangover remedy drinks popular in South Korea such as Condition (컨디션), 808 Dawn (여명 808) and Morning Care (모닝케어), which in our experience were effective.
After reviewing the contents, we learned one of the primary ingredients in the hangover drinks turned out to be dihydromyricetin (DHM), an extract from the oriental raisin tree, Hovenia dulcis, commonly found in East Asia. DHM has been consumed via tea and other traditional methods for centuries in China, South Korea and Japan and it turned out the South Korean hangover drinks had been using DHM for the past couple decades with resounding success. The more we looked into DHM, the more excited we got that we could combine DHM with what we had learned to bring a solution to the US market.
GENESIS: THE TEAM
Min - President
Based on this light bulb moment and the relative success of a landing page we threw up online, we did a deep dive into the latest research and had in-depth conversations with academic researchers, medical doctors, chemists, pharmacologists and nutraceutical specialists. Using that research and our in-house medical expertise (a doctor with a MBA from Duke University), our team created the FDA-compliant alpha-version chewable HangOn tablet. We personally tested the alpha-version tablets (which meant lots of drinking for science!) and even mailed out free samples to subscribers on our landing page. Min, a chemical engineering major from Northwestern University, currently serves as our President.
GENESIS: THE Why
Despite the efficiency of the South Korean hangover drinks, we found that it was annoying to have to stop by a convenience store to buy one (or more if you were with friends) and then carry a bottle around with you or chug it quickly.
That memory was the genesis of the HangOn idea, and why we decided to figure out a way to package DHM and other antioxidants and amino acids into an easy to carry, sleek product that is discreet as a pack of gum. We strived to create a product that not only works effectively but is also convenient, social and portable. HangOn was the result of months of work, and we have created a great tasting chewable tablet that is discreet enough for professional settings.