Iowa State graduate builds a business while excelling in the classroom

[intro music] With final exams and graduation just
around the corner many Iowa State seniors are getting excited about
looking for jobs and starting their new careers. So here’s a new label. But Michael
Hanstad already knows what he’s going to be doing after school growing the
business he and a friend started in their residence hall when they were just
freshmen. I met my buddy Tyler and we had a bunch of business classes together and
found out we both want to start our own business we just don’t know what to
start. After brainstorming for a while Michael’s friend Tyler DeVos suggested
they try producing a family member’s homemade barbecue sauce job. Drove down to his
uncle’s house in Ankeny I tried it and I’m like oh this is amazing I’m like
let’s do it let’s start a business we’re young we can risk it. The only problem
was they didn’t know where to start. What we did which I think was smart, is we
asked for help from our professor. One of their business professors gave them
advice on things like hiring a label designer and finding a company to
produce their sauce. Meanwhile, the two students held their business meetings in
their Willow Hall dorm room. Tyler lived on the third floor I lived on seventh floor, so we’d meet in my room and discuss and sign up for farmers markets
and get our talk with our designer and talk with our co-packers hands dad says
they started selling their Deadeye Premium Barbecue Sauce at farmer’s
markets all over central Iowa. We’d be going to these local farmers markets
setting up a table in a canopy and put our sauce out there and have people try
it on it on a spoon and then we just kind of grinded like that for our whole
freshman year summer. With success at farmers markets, Handstand wanted to get his product into grocery stores so he loaded up his car
and drove to a nearby Fareway to convince the store manager to give their
sauce a shot. And he’s like all right how many cases you have your car I’m like I
got four cases in my car And he’s like, all right I’ll take them all. I’m like oh my gosh
like this is the real deal. Handstand kept at it
driving to stores across the state to sell their barbecue sauce. We’re by far
the youngest you know sales people going in and these grocery stores by like 20
years they still love seeing young people work hard for their product.
They’re now in 85 HyVee in Fareway stores across Iowa you can even buy
their products on Amazon. It’s just so cool to see our product from just at farmer’s markets to on like a grocery store shelf and has seen it up
next to life Sweet Baby Ray’s and Famous Daves. Deadeye Barbecue now has two sauces
original and spicy as well as two seasonings; and they’ve kept a close
connection to Iowa State. They’ve recently started hiring fellow students
to do in-store demonstrations and they continue to receive help from their
professors and the Iowa Small Business Development Center at Iowa State. Well,
there’s a lot of opportunities outside of just class that students can take
advantage of when they have their own business it’s definitely more than just
education professors are open to coming and helping you outside of their class
time. The next step for the company is to expand into grocery stores all over the
Midwest, Handstand says he’s excited to start focusing full-time on growing the
company and he’s thankful for the help and the adventure he received in college.
Great great experience at Iowa State. Love the school, love everything about it. I’ve been really lucky that Iowa State’s been willing to work with us. For Iowa State
News Service I’m Dave Olson.

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