Shark Tank often loves student-run companies. In the past, the dramatic venture capital reality program — a program that shark Kevin O’Leary calls a VC firm “on steroids” — has promoted many young people getting a jump start in the world of business. There was Henry’s Humdingers, whose founder, Henry Miller, started his honey business before he was old enough to vote. Last season, there was a curt exchange of words after Scholly founder Christopher Gray, then a university student, left the tank with investments from Lori Greiner and Daymond John, before the other potential investors had asked all their questions.
Now, another student entrepreneur, Jesse Wolfe of O’Dang Hummus, is set to go before the panel in search of financial support. Wolfe’s company had humble beginnings. As he told UCF Starters, Wolfe could only eat soft food after his wisdom teeth were removed. He discovered hummus but was disheartened by the limited flavor offerings. He started concocting his own creative flavor combinations, his girlfriend took some to her work, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
Wolfe decided on short notice to enter the University of Central Florida’s entrepreneurship competition, The Joust, and won third prize. It was then that a new twist on a traditional snack food was born. But Wolfe discovered the road was not easy. He started selling his hummus at farmers’ markets around Central Florida, but not before overcoming the serious hurdles of entry.