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  • Writer's pictureChris Horst

Tailgate N Go

When siblings, Taylor Johnson and Kobe Johnson, and their father, Ron Johnson, went on Shark Tank in 2019, they walked away with a new investor in their business and a lot of new orders to fill.  

“It was pretty dicey throughout the episode,” said Taylor Johnson. “We didn’t know what would happen. Being on Shark Tank has opened tons of doors for us and just helped us get Tailgate N Go out there.”

Matt Higgins, a guest shark on the episode and the Miami Dolphins Vice Chairman and RSE Ventures co-founder and CEO, invested in Tailgate N Go, opening up NFL licensing opportunities for the Johnsons. Their product is a portable, outdoor kitchen and dry box made for any outdoor cooking. 

Since the show, the Grand Junction, Colorado family saw their business grow consistently.

EMJD began fabricating components and boxes for Tailgate N Go in 2018. The EMJD and Tailgate N Go teams share a passion for the outdoors and great engineering. When the Tailgate N Go team brought their initial concept to EMJD, a collaborative design process began. 

EMJD took the initial concept sketch and began building a model within SolidWorks. After building the initial model, EMJD and Tailgate N Go worked together to tweak and adjust the design before moving it to the prototype stage. 

This iterative improvement process sparked ideas from both sides. Tailgate N Go understood their desired user experience. EMJD understood how the product could be designed for manufacturability, high material yields, and durability, while also applying a lens of cost savings.  

The result was a stronger product at a better price point. Tailgate N Go then took their prototype to recreation and outdoor shows and expos to begin building exposure. The product took off and soon the Johnsons were invited to pitch their product on Shark Tank.

“The EMJD team helped us build one of our early prototypes,” said Taylor Johnson. “We needed their innovative engineering eyes on the product to make it what it is today.” 

“We love their product,” said Luke Galli, president of EMJD. “As a fellow small business based here in Colorado, we love helping them accomplish their mission of getting people outside with their friends. To be involved since their very beginning has been a real treat.” 

Capitalizing on the strengths of both businesses, EMJD and Tailgate N Go are hopeful about projects they can collaborate on moving forward. From portable kitchens to RV attachments to fishing reels, EMJD loves helping customers in the outdoor industry to bring their products to life. 

Contact EMJD to schedule a design consultation with our designers and engineers. 

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