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Tennessee Tech alumnus changes business strategy to help fight COVID-19

Froggy's Fog CEO Adam Pogue works behind the scenes developing hand sanitizer in his Columbia, Tennessee, facility.A Tennessee Tech alumnus is finding a unique way to help medical officials fight COVID-19.

Adam Pogue, who graduated from Tech in 2004 with a degree in Management Information Systems, started his own business, Froggy's Fog, in his hometown of Columbia, Tennessee, the following year.

“Adam started Froggy's Fog by accident,” said Scott Karan, director of marketing for Froggy's Fog. “He worked at the Cumberland Fun Center which was owned by his future partner Chris Markgraf's family. Chris is an asthmatic and back in 2004, Laser Tag and Glow Bowling was all the rage. They would pump rooms full of fog to see the laser beams. The problem was that fog fluids in those days were all chemicals, so Chris could not stand to be in the building. Adam's dad was a chemical engineer who came up with what we know is the first water-based fog fluid, creating little odor and safe to breathe. They started bottling this formula for use in their own center. After time, other owners noticed their fog didn't stink and was much more effective.”

Some of Froggy's most notable clients are Disney, Universal Studios, Sea World, Warner Brothers, Cirque du Soleil, Frozen on Broadway and many more.

Recently, they noticed a spike in sales of glycerin, which is one of the main ingredients in fog juice.

“It occurred to us that people were using this to make their own hand sanitizer,” Karan said. “We quickly got to work procuring the other chemicals, most notably the alcohol which is the active ingredient in hand sanitizer. Since alcohol has been restricted to manufacturers that produce cleaning supplies, we had to get creative. We wanted to make sure we were taking care of first responders, our local community and essential workers.”

With the help from a few local distilleries, they were able to produce denatured alcohol. 

“Since we launched on March 27, we have sold more than 14,000 units from gallon to 250 gallon totes to everyone from locals to the U.S. Military and government,” he said. “This has potentially opened up a new revenue stream for us once the pandemic is under control.”

The demand has been so high they've had to limit the amount of orders they can place in a day, sometimes selling out in 20 minutes. 

“We have tripled in size overnight going from a modest 17-person operation to 50-plus, and working 24/7 to help get the sanitizer in the hands of those who need it most.” 

For more information, visit https://www.froggysfog.com/covid-19.

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