Wriggle Brew ‘Worm Tea’ Fertilizer Wins UCF’s 2022 Joust New Venture Competition


Samuel Baker, an economics student with a passion for science, gardening and sustainability, teamed up with a group of friends to create Wriggle Brew, an organic worm tea fertilizer.

Organic Worm Tea Fertilizer is made by soaking worm-accelerated compost in fresh water to absorb valuable nutrients.

“Containing all of the vital nutrients for your garden, the resulting leachate is very effective in encouraging plant growth,” Baker said during his submission. “Using Wriggle Brew in your garden will ensure that your plants are equipped with all the necessary macro and micronutrients that may have been depleted in your soil. Just one capful of undiluted Wiggle Brew added per plant can quickly accelerate plant growth. plants and stimulate the young immune system.

What makes this fertilizer so unique? It is also used as a pesticide.

Baker led Wriggle Brew to first prize in the Joust New Venture competition, the UCF version of shark tank. Wriggle Brew beat out three other student businesses on April 7 to win a check for $15,000 and more than $50,000 in essential business services.

“The struggle to get here is worth years,” Baker shared, moments after his victory. “That means everything to me right now.”

In the same way as the hit NBC show shark tankBaker pitched Wriggle Brew to a panel of judges representing companies including Echelon Fitness Multimedia, Addition Financial, Voloridge Investment Management, VMD Ventures and VMD Global Health, and ICI Homes.

Baker propelled Wriggle Brew to first place out of 16 semi-finalists. His team plans to use the winnings from the contest to pitch in front of as many companies as possible to further develop their product.

“The next steps for me from here will be, first and foremost, a bit of rest. Then my teammates and I will start running,” Baker said. business as possible with this win and hopefully live up to the expectations that have been placed on me.”

The Joust is UCF’s premier startup showcase event, hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the UCF College of Business, and features students from all majors. Competitors present their models for a viable business venture and compete to win money and other resources to continue their business. This event celebrates student entrepreneurs, introduces them to community leaders, and provides key resources to help them launch their businesses.

Before the announcement of the winner, John Santo ”01co-founder and CPO of Echelon Fitness Multimedia shared a message with the four contestants.

“If you believe in your product and what you do, don’t let the ‘no’ stop you,” Santo says. “Be relentless in what you do. No matter what happens today or tomorrow, it does not determine the success of your business. »

The four finalists in this year’s competition included elements of a social enterprise, a business idea that aims to integrate business skills and techniques to solve societal problems. Cameron Ford, director of the UCF Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, called this year’s Joust an incredibly close competition.

“I’m very excited about the strength of each of our competitors’ presentations,” Ford said. “I have never been more proud of a group of students than for this year’s Joust competitors.”

Finalists from Joust were Daniel Trimble, Michael Troisi and Ryan Carnovsly from Trosk, a company that aims to provide a range of training on cybersecurity and related topics. They won $7,500.

Shelsee Joseph won third place and $5,000 for her business, Curethco, a wellness tea company that aims to inspire consumers to take care of their health with accessible and effective teas.

ToolCharm and the team of Mark Rbuckert and Owen Burns won $2,500 for their fourth place finish and their idea of ​​enabling support teams to perform day-to-day administrative tasks without software development teams.

Student business proposals were evaluated by a panel of business leaders representing a wide range of business partners, local businesses and alumni.

This year’s judges were Linh Dang ’93director of development at Addition Financial, Sean Hayes ’95Marketing Director at Voloridge Investment Management, Forough Hosseni ’98EVP of Information Systems at ICI Homes, Harold Mills ’98CEO of VMD Ventures and VMD Global Health and John Santo ’01co-founder and CPO of Echelon Fitness Multimedia.

The 2022 Joust New Venture Competition was presented by Echelon Fitness Multimedia. Supporting sponsors included 321 The Agency, BDO, Blezoo, Legal Shield, Insurance Office of America (IOA), and Nperspective LLC.


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