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Baseball to business: Tezak takes new career path

(KOLNKGIN)
Published: May. 26, 2020 at 5:30 PM CDT
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Jeff Tezak never lost his competitive drive. Eleven years after playing for the Huskers, he's now pursuing success in business as the co-founder of Tiiga.

Tezak, along with friend and business partner Harrouna Malgoubri, created a powdered drink mix with high nutritional value. Tiiga, which uses the organic Superfruit Boabab, has just five grams of sugar. Tezak says his product is healthier than many sports drinks and other competing products. Tiiga aims to replenish the body with electrolytes, vitamins, and fiber.

"I started using the Boabab fruit and I realized there was a ton of energy and a ton of nutrients," Tezak said. "It was helping me get my work done."

Tezak, who has a master's degree in history, says he studied and researched nutrition while attending graduate school at the University of Nebraska. It was during that time that Tezak met Malgoubri and Tiiga was founded.

"Playing sports I was always around it," Tezak said of nutrition. "I knew how many calories were in a piece of chicken. I'm always trying to find the most nutritional product with the least caloric value."

The drink mix is available in orange mango and raspberry lemonade flavors. Tezak had hoped to market his product at various sporting events this spring and summer. However, the pandemic has limited his business opportunities.

"With COVID we obviously understand that budget is a huge deal right now," Tezak said. "We also understand that health is a huge deal right now."

a funding platform for start-up businesses. Tiiga's current goal is to reach $10,000 in pledge money by mid-June. Currently, Tiiga is nearly 65 percent short of its goal.

Tezak played baseball at Nebraska from 2007-2009. He led the Huskers in hitting during his first season on campus with a .335 batting average. He was selected in the MLB Draft by the Chicago White Sox and played multiple years in the minor leagues and internationally. Tezak, who lives in Lincoln, returned to Nebraska in 2016. While in graduate school, he helped the Nebraska baseball program as a graduate manager and volunteer assistant coach.

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