Dez Williams came up with the idea for his watermelon juice company, Aquamelon, after he trained with friends for a 12.5-mile Tough Mudder obstacle course. They would go home and devour a watermelon after training, finding the juice refreshing after a long workout.
Williams researched the benefits of watermelon juice, learning about its high concentration of amino acids and electrolytes.
The surface water remediation specialist decided it might be time to start his own venture — a watermelon juice company. He approached USF about getting a master’s degree in entrepreneurship with one goal: “I don’t care about the credential,” he told the school. “What I’m really interested in is if you guys can help me launch this company.”
The school agreed, and Williams was able to use the company, Aquamelon, as his example in more than 75% of his coursework. Aquamelon later won $20,000 from the Syntech Business Plan Competition and was a first runner-up at the Florida Venture Conference. He poured his savings into the business.