Teka Thomas

Teka thomas wearing vrypak Teka thomas wearing vrypak
Teka Thomas, B.B.A. '97
UM Alumnus develops lightweight solution to stay active in all environments.

Teka Thomas graduated from the Miami School of Business with a B.B.A. in 1997. After a tour in the Air Force and time spent in law school, he settled in Washington, DC.

In May 2014, Teka wanted to go for a short jog after work, but also stay hydrated and carry keys and a cell phone. His current brand name hydration pack was just too big and cumbersome for the task, and fanny packs and pockets were less than ideal. "It was just about user experience; a normal backpack was just too much friction,” Teka said.

So in an effort to find a solution, Teka took to the Internet to conduct research, searching for a low profile, minimalist backpack to easily slip on; with no luck. He was then inspired to design and create something that would work far better: Vrypac.

Connections with family guided his development of the backpack and after a couple years, the product is launching and available for purchase through Amazon. The Vrypac also includes a waterproof sleeve for cell phones and other valuables.

According to Teka, those who enjoy short outdoor exercise and organized races would benefit from the new product, but it’s useful for everything from obstacle courses to sailing and rock climbing. He describes one of the best features of the Vrypac bag as aligning to one's center of gravity, easing the comfort and mobility of exercise with the bag. Other uses include simply using Vrypac as a purse.

UPDATE June 2018: Teka has designed an updated version of Vrypac, The Dish Trail, named after a popular hiking trail in Teka's native Silicon Valley. It improves on the original version with an expansion zipper, allowing for more space. "The original version has unexpectedly proven most popular with extreme sports athletes," Teka said. "But I'm now hoping to move into the cruise ship and travel market." Teka attended Miami Business School to earn his B.B.A., and has received great business advice from friend and UM alumna, Stavely Lord, M.B.A. ‘01.