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Sam Prince: The Multimillionaire Founder of Restaurant Chain Zambrero… and His “Shining” Example

Prince takes hydration to a new level with a new health drink for the mind, Shine+. This fast-growing drink company is an example of how a business can be successful and still give back to communities.

Sam Prince is a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist. He’s well-known for founding one of Australia’s largest Mexican restaurant franchise chains, Zambrero.

As a 21-year old medical student, he was on the threshold of becoming a doctor. But Prince saw the need for healthy and fresh Mexican cuisine in his area. So he set out to fill that void. (Along the way he managed to get his medical degree as well.)

Prince’s initial goal was to create 20 restaurants and grow to 100 restaurants in 3 or 4 years. By the end of 2016, he’d surpassed that goal with 150 restaurants and more coming.

Sam Prince always holds close to his heart the idea of giving back to the community. With his restaurants, he started the “Plate 4 Plate” initiative.

The premise is simple. One plate of food goes to someone in a developing country for every plate bought in his restaurants. He incorporates humanitarian efforts into everything he does.

He’s also created a non-profit organization called One Disease. It focuses on targeting and eliminating neglected diseases in the country.

Prince’s other groups include Next Practice and the Sam Prince Hospitality Group. But now Sam Prince has entered into a new arena that marries his entrepreneur background and his medical one.

What Is Shine+?

Is Shine+ just another energy drink? Not exactly. It is a functional drink, but it provides so much more than energy.


CUB Club of United BusinessMeet Stephen Chapman, CEO, and Co-Founder

This brainchild is the result of a collaboration between Sam Prince and Stephen Chapman.

Chapman started out as an accountant with PwC. But he realized that he was more suited to entrepreneurship than accountancy. So he left PwC to launch his first successful startup.

Stephen Chapman received a lot of recognition for his first venture like:

  • a feature in Apple’s Top Lifestyle Apps
  • a feature in The Australian
  • a feature in BRW
  • recognition as one of Australia’s Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25 (StartupSmart, 2013)

His journey did not end there, though. Despite numerous recognition, he wanted more. So he sought out Dr. Sam Prince in 2013.

Chapman’s unconventional apprenticeship was a mixture of structured and unstructured phases. But through it all, their ability to work well with each other remained strong.

Back in 2015, there were many studies that pinpointed certain ingredients and compounds that may help brain function. So the two set out to design Australia’s first drink that can enhance brain functions.

What Makes Shine+ Different from Other Drinks?

People are always under pressure to do their best and be at their best all the time. But mental fatigue is a very real thing. It’s a universal problem that everyone goes through.

In addition, there’s a growing population of consumers who want healthier options in their fridge. Shine+ fills both of those needs in one special formula.

Energy drinks and caffeine can give you a boost. But the effect is short-term. And it inevitably leads to a “crash” in energy and potentially mood and mental sharpness.

Shine+, however, is different. This new class of drinks is often referred to and perhaps better as “focus drinks.” And they support brain functions like:

  • focus
  • concentration
  • mental performance

The cognitive boost is a result of the use of all-natural ingredients that include:

  • Green Tea (L-Theanine)
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Ginseng
  • Turmeric (Curcumin)

The result? No “energy crash” associated with sugar and caffeine drinks.

How Do You Buy Shine+?

Currently, Shine+ is only available online and through local distribution. You can purchase bottles through their online store in packs of 12 and 24.

In addition, Shine+ is available in 110ML shot bottles and the traditional 400ML full-sized bottles.

The formulas are all low in calories and sugar. However, some of the formulas do contain natural caffeine.

Are you trying to stay away from caffeine? There’s a decaffeinated version of Shine+.

And if you need that extra jolt of energy? Shine+ also has an extra caffeine formula.

What Are the Big Plans On the Horizon?

It seems that there’s no shortage of people who need a little cognitive edge. In fact, over 20% of Ivy League students admitted to taking prescription medication to help with mental performance and focus.

What does that mean for Shine+?

Expectations are high for this new Australian drink. In the first 100 days, the company sold over 45,000 units. And 40% of the sales were a result of repeat purchases.

That repeat purchase number is nearly double the estimated average e-commerce number of 16%.

The company plans to expand to other markets such as the UK, US, and parts of Asia. The global functional beverage market is worth $65 billion. So the expansion can definitely bring this beverage to new heights.

In addition, like Sam Prince’s “Plate 4 Plate” initiative for Zambrero restaurants, Shine+ has a similar initiative.

What Is the Shine for Water Program?

Imagine that you don’t have access to clean drinking water. Unfortunately, that is a reality for millions of people around the world. Many illnesses and death are preventable if only people had access to clean water.

Shine+ is doing its part in this humanitarian effort. The company’s partnership with Water for Life helps to get water to people who need it. And you help with that every time you purchase a bottle of Shine+.

Rather than delivering tons of bottled water, though, Water for Life had a better idea. They developed a portable water filtration straw that can make potable water out of any water source.

Here’s how it works. Every bottle of Shine+ sold goes towards giving one person an entire day’s worth of clean drinking water.

CUB Club of United BusinessHow Is Shine+ Growing So Fast?

Shine+ is experiencing growth at an exponential rate. How did they get there? There are 3 key factors for the growth of this company:

#1 Create Opportunity in a Slow Moving Sector

One of the secrets of success for this company? Creating a new demand.

They could have competed against behemoth beverage brands with established followings. But Prince and Chapman decided on something new. And that “new” was a focus drink.

They also took advantage of the lack of innovation in the local Australian drink sector. No one was creating anything new. So they decided to reshape the way that everyone saw functional drinks.

Essentially, they didn’t want to become competitors against giant companies. And there were a lot of soda and energy drink options on the market already.

Instead, they created their own opportunity and offered something that no one else was doing.

You may have heard of this way of thinking: a blue ocean strategy.

Chapman and Prince chose to forgo diving into the bloody Red Ocean waters of the energy drink market. Instead, they created a blue ocean of demand with their focus drinks.

Their formula contains ingredients that are scientifically proven to improve brain function. And it doesn’t rely on artificial or chemical fillers to give the body an extra boost. This is new to the Australian market.

#2 Scientific Mentorship

Next, the right mentorship matching can make all the difference in the success or failure of a venture. So, in this case, “scientific mentorship” doesn’t necessarily relate to science. It has to do with how mentors and mentees come together.

This approach would match the young entrepreneurs to the right business leaders. What does that look like?

Traditional mentorships may happen because of circumstance or sector. But Chapman proposes that people match by different qualities instead like:

  • personalities
  • business approach
  • creative similarities

The results could be partnership magic as evidenced by Prince and Chapman’s endeavor. Chapman attributes the success of Shine+ to a scientific and methodical approach to mentorship.

Dr. Sam Prince was able to help guide Chapman away from the pitfalls that stand in the way of startups.

Can traditionally matched mentorship do the same? Sure. However, the camaraderie and vision may not be the same.

#3 Use Social Media Influencers

Lastly, don’t underestimate the effect that social media influencers have on followers. There’s a reason they’re called “Influencers.”

And using popular Australian Instagram influencers helped give Shine+ the boost that it needed. They received higher ROI using this type of marketing. Especially in comparison to traditional methods like radio advertising and word ads.

How much of a boost? Think in terms of 2 to 3 times higher.

Instagram ads have the biggest ROI in digital marketing. This is a huge opportunity for startups.

When you target a young audience via Instagram, you can leverage their own online ideals. That, in turn, can give you:

  • attention
  • credibility
  • social proof

This newfound influence also helps enable their clean water efforts.

Finding the right Influencer isn’t just a matter of picking one, though. Take these points into consideration when looking for an Influencer for your campaign:

  • Relevance – First, make sure the Influencer is relevant to your business and industry. Is what they’re sharing in line with your product or business? Do they have the audience that you want to target?
  • Reach – Find out how many people are in the influencer’s follower base. Social media can be a powerful marketing tool. But it’s only as good as the number of people you can reach and convert.
  • Resonance – Bigger isn’t necessarily better. You want potential influencers that have a dedicated and engaged following. And sometimes that means a smaller base.

The Takeaway

Businesses begin for a multitude of reasons. And it may be easy to start a business that you see a demand for already. But that would be a mistake.

Instead, follow in the footsteps of Sam Prince. He saw a need and an untapped market. And his success stemmed from creating a demand for those new sectors.

You don’t have to recreate the wheel. But you also don’t have to swim in the murky waters of fierce competition, either.

Take a look around you and see where there’s a need. If no one is addressing that need, that could be an untapped market for you.

Also, don’t underestimate the power of partnerships. The right mentorship can lead you to a new innovative idea you wouldn’t have conceived on your own. And the right influencers can introduce your company to new audiences.

The next time you consider a new business opportunity, think of Sam Prince’s story. He remained connected to the people and world around him. And he sees opportunities around him.

At CUB our ambition is to unite those who are changing the world through their businesses. We support these people by building a private community of Australia’s next titans of industry. And we bring these titans together to accelerate the achievement of each other’s ambitions.

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