Edinboro business “Fish Gods” launches first product for outdoor enthusiasts

10/19/2020

 Edinboro business “Fish Gods” launches first product for outdoor enthusiasts

An Edinboro business hopes to assist others in cleaning up the environment – one bag at a time.

Soon, the young entrepreneurial co-founders will launch the product that got them started.

Edinboro University senior Hunter Klobucar and recent graduate Tyler Waltenbaugh, co-founders of Fish Gods, are launching the Clean Earth Bag, a reusable bag made specifically for outdoor enthusiasts to pick up, contain and recycle plastic and garbage pollution they encounter while in the outdoors.

Fish Gods is an environmental company that engages outdoor enthusiasts to clean up watersheds, enhancing their sustainability. Their mission is to unite the largest recreational group in the world to take action and reduce pollution across the globe.

To accomplish these goals, they are producing and selling their custom bag, which eliminates the problems that come along with using trash bags or grocery bags. It will be available for purchase on Oct. 20 through their Kickstarter campaign.

“This Kickstarter campaign gives you first access to the bag and special merchandise packages; collectively, we can start cleaning up our streams, rivers, lakes and oceans right away,” said Klobucar.

Early bird access includes special pricing and packages. Fish Gods’ goal is to raise enough money to become a large-scale environmental cleanup company, design fully sustainable products and partner with scientists and researchers to develop innovations that create a cleaner planet. After the 30-day campaign is over, the Clean Earth Bag will sell at retail locations for $29.99.

Their bag has special features:

  • Tear resistant, helping stop sharp waste from penetrating the bag’s material.
  • Mold and mildew resistant, able to withstand full submersion and most environmental conditions.
  • Adjustable, as the tension buckle expands the size as needed.

“We designed this product for any outdoor enthusiast, with anglers being the most important first market to help combat plastic and garbage pollution,” Waltenbaugh explained. “There is no recreation group larger than the anglers, kayakers and boaters who visit watersheds frequently and have the greatest opportunity to clean our watersheds. We must get our bags in their hands.”

The idea began when the two were both students at Edinboro.

According to a 2019 Edinboro Spectator article, the pair started a fly fishing club on-campus. Soon after, they embarked on the Brook Trout Odyssey through the non-profit Trout Unlimited.

On that trip, Waltenbaugh and Klobucar noticed the pervasive pollution and garbage in the waterways they encountered.

The solution? Fish Gods and their Clean Earth Bag.

Their idea gained more traction when the two won $5,000 and a first-place prize through the Ben Franklin TechCelerator @Erie, a 10-week business camp. According to GoErie, they used the money as capital to build up their business.

Luckily, their expanding company was able to grow more with free resources provided by their college and alma mater, Edinboro University.

The two work out of the campus’ Student Start-Up Hub, and collaborate with the Edinboro Center for Branding and Strategic Communication, part of the NWPA Innovation Beehive Network. The center provides branding and promotional services for their clients, including Fish Gods. They helped with aspects such as their logo design and the launch of their website.

The center’s executive director and Edinboro professor, Dr. Anthony Peyronel, had high praise for the pair in an article from earlier this year.

“They are really on the move here,” Peyronel said in the article. “They are on their way.”

With a great idea, a new company and little bit of help, Waltenbaugh and Klobucar are well on their way to making a difference in the Edinboro community and the world.