UPDATE: Evan Lutz appeared on Shark Tank on Jan. 8, 2016, and received a $100,000 investment from Robert Herjavec for a 10 percent stake in Hungry Harvest.
Evan Lutz, a 2014 alumnus of the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, is scheduled to appear on ABC’s Shark Tank on Jan. 8, 2016, to pitch Hungry Harvest, a company that ships surplus produce destined for waste to local families and businesses. Shark Tank is a reality television show where budding entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of high-powered investors.
Lutz co-founded Hungry Harvest while he was a student at UMD and was a finalist in the university’s 2014 Do Good Challenge, an eight-week competition designed to inspire Terps to make the greatest social impact they can for their favorite causes. While at Smith, Lutz studied marketing and was a Social Innovation Fellow. In 2015, he received the "Social Entrepreneur of the Year" award from the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the inaugural Rudy Awards.
Lutz estimates that six billion pounds of fresh produce is thrown out every year. Hungry Harvest sells surplus produce, which may be an odd size or shape but is no different in quality than produce you would buy at a grocery store or farmer’s market. Subscribers in Maryland and Washington, D.C., receive weekly deliveries of fruits and vegetables at discounted prices. For every box delivered, one is donated to those in need.
“Having the opportunity to appear on Shark Tank is a dream come true,” says Lutz. “I believe that Shark Tank is the vehicle to help propel our local, mission-driven business to scale across the country.”
To date, Hungry Harvest has recovered 300,000 pounds of produce from going to waste and delivered 100,000 pounds to those in need. With the help of one of the Sharks, Lutz foresees those numbers significantly increasing as they expand across the U.S.
During the show, local viewers watching will have the opportunity to participate in a trivia contest on social media to win six months’ worth of free produce. Questions will be episode-related.
Lutz counts it as a win to make it through the Shark Tank application process. More than 45,000 entrepreneurs apply to appear on the show each year, and only 150 startups are selected to fly out to Los Angeles to pitch the Sharks.
Watch Shark Tank on Friday, Jan. 8 to see what happens! Join the conversation on social media at @ABCSharkTank and #SharkTank. We’ll be live tweeting at #TerpInTheTank.
For more information about entrepreneurship at Smith, visit the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship website: http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/dingman
- Alissa Arford, Office of Marketing Communications