UCF student Jesse Wolfe was a winner on last week’s “Shark Tank” on ABC… but not really.
By Jacob Engels
Ever since the Central Florida community received word that a UCF student run hummus start-up had been selected to appear on ABC’s angel investor reality show “Shark Tank”, we rallied. Jesse Wolfe’s nascent pet project, O’Dang Hummus is a cleverly marketed and burgeoning food and condiment empire.
Ever since indulging in his “Dillionaire” hummus after I spotted it at Nature’s Fuel Urban Juice Bar in Avalon Park, I was an instant fan. SIDE NOTE – Nature’s Fuel is thebomb.com. The owner Alan is always making waves with his delicious concoctions.
On the heels of the long awaited airing of last weeks prime-time show, Central Florida was standing on eggshells, hoping that the relatively young and newfound entrepreneur wouldn’t have an embarrassing tangle with the “sharks”.
While promoting his product on the show, Wolfe exuded confidence in the O’Dang offerings, backing it up with the impressive announcement that Publix supermarket was in the final stages of placing the product in each of its 1,100 locations throughout the Southeast.
However, when Wolfe started fielding offers from noted investors… he made a colossally stupid mistake. After Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavec made an offer for $50,000 for 20% equity in the company, Wolfe’s O’Dang Hummus was addressed by billionaire Mark Cuban. Cuban, who is worth more than all the other hosts combined, made several attempts to engage Wolfe – obviously interested in making a much better offer than Greiner and Herjavec’s.
And that is when Wolfe TANKED on “Shark Tank”. Without even hearing the basic numbers behind Cuban’s offer, he opted to select the Greiner/Herjavec deal. WHAT THE HELL!?
Mr. Cuban has a history of making much larger, and to an extent fairer offers to contestants on “Shark Tank.” He also has THE MOST cash on hand. So why did Wolfe not even entertain the offer from a billionaire investor who was MORE THAN INTERESTED?
Simple answer – he has little to no business or analytical depth. When Marc Cuban’s checkbook comes calling, you answer…even if to respectfully decline. That is common sense, but there is nothing common about sense for Mr. Wolfe.
Anyone who runs a business that is accepting or soliciting investment from individuals will tell you that multiple investors often leads to “too many cooks in the kitchen” and can splinter collaborators who have different visions.
With Mr. Wolfe’s decision to forgo a partnership between himself and Mark Cuban, instead accepting a deal between him and two others… he has greatly hurt the viability of his promising empire. Look, I will still eat O’Dang Hummus and recommend it to my friends. I just can’t believe the blissful ignorance of its founder, who did his company a great disservice.
Even when you win… you can still be a loser. And a loser Jesse Wolfe is. At the very least an idiot, our village idiot.
Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org