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Honoree Headshot

Ryan Close

Founder & CEO
Bartesian Inc.

Location: Lake County
Year Founded: 2019
Industry Group Specific: Technology & Spirits

Presented by:

A former, admittedly lousy bartender, Ryan Close has been involved in entrepreneurial side projects his entire career. The idea behind Bartesian was born out of the insight that mixing cocktails at home is complicated, requiring sourcing multiple obscure and expensive ingredients, carefully mixing in precise ratios and often leads to waste.

Alongside his co-founder, Close recognized the potential for a solution that simplified the process for hosts and cocktail enthusiasts alike and made the leap to full-time entrepreneurship.

Bartesian is the innovative, award-winning cocktail maker that allows anyone to be a professional mixologist. Bartesian is the first-ever intelligent cocktail maker using capsules that contain the real, premium ingredients for on-demand, perfectly crafted cocktails.

“Ryan is the first to admit that Bartesian took a long time to get to the market,” said his colleagues. “Eschewing traditional startup advice to launch quickly and iterate, Ryan felt Bartesian’s positioning as both a home appliance and consumer packaged goods company meant there was only one shot to make a critically important impression.”

Close accepted the competitive risk of delaying the launch and guided his team to resolve challenges and de-risk potential consumer pain points. Since its launch, Bartesian has been recognized with various awards including 2020 and 2023 CES Innovation Awards, The Knot Registry Award, Good Housekeeping’s Best Innovation of 2020 Award and one of Oprah’s Favorite Things.

As the CEO, Close plays an integral role in establishing Bartesian’s strategy and ensuring a shared commitment to an elevated cocktail experience by overseeing the team of food scientists and microbiologists. The company’s offerings have expanded to include a duet cocktail maker and 50 authentic cocktails with natural ingredients. Under Close’s leadership, the firm has grown from a concept to generating more than $50 million in annual revenue and used in restaurants, hotels, stadium suites, lounges and at special events.

“Not only is Ryan committed to building a lean, effective team, but he is personally invested in ensuring Bartesian’s culture reflects his deep commitment to elevating the cocktail experience,” said his staff. “Bartesian’s growth is a testament to Ryan’s focus on identifying, hiring and developing top talent, which he would identify as his proudest accomplishment.”

While reflecting on the success of the firm, Close said his advice to younger entrepreneurs is to seek the best in every scenario. “For every aspect of entrepreneurship, seeking out those with experience and talent and involving them in your business is a way to fine tune strategy and accelerate growth,” he said.

As a leader in the cocktail industry, Close has earned the title of a Titan 100.

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Seeking out those with positive energy, and expertise, to contribute to building the business. Whether investors, advisors, vendors, or direct hires, consistently seeking out those who can contribute to fine tuning strategy and accelerating growth.

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