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Innovation & Job News

2armadillos Snack Company wins $100K investment on Today Show competition

2armadillos, the D.C.-based crispy chickpea producer, is having a huge week. The company won the Start Up to Success competition on NBC 's The Today Show and will receive a $100,000 investment from Marcus Lemonis, entrepreneur and star of CNBC's The Profit. 2armadillos cofounder Jimmy Edgerton says the investment will allow the company to "scale our public health message to make more people healthy and happy."
The investment was announced at the conclusion of the competition. "We're very excited," Edgerton says, of Lemonis's offer. "We're meeting [Lemonis] early next week. I want to be his partner."
Lemonis called Katz and Edgerton "the epitome of the American Dream" and said that he was investing in their company because they were the first to market and the best to market. He does, however, want to change the company's packaging.
On each week of the three-week contest, Lemonis gave Edgerton and Katz and their competitors certain tasks. The last was to create a 30-second commercial spot. "We had 72 hours to film and 4 hours to work with a professional editor," Edgerton explains. "Colin, our editor, was an absolute stud. It was amazing to watch him work."
Overall, Edgerton has nothing but positive things to say about his experience on Today.  "The producers were so nice," he explains. "The people on the show want to make good TV. They want to see you succeed. There's no nastiness. " 
Edgerton and cofounder Greg Katz's TV appearances have meant lots of chickpeas changing hands at home. "We have a huge amount of production that's occurring," Edgerton explains. "We've already approached our Q4 production projections in Q2." The company has had to hire additional staff to keep up with demand. "We started with eight staff the first Tuesday [we were on air]," he says. "We had 11 staff the second Tuesday, and 12 staff the third Tuesday. Now we're at 13 staff and we're hiring a bookkeeper and office help."
2armadillos, currently based out of Union Kitchen, was already planning to move to a commercial production facility; the Start Up to Success win and accompanying publicity just accelerates the timeline. "Union Kitchen has been excellent," Edgerton says, "for having a product concept and for taking it from creation to production."
"This is not something I was expecting," Edgerton says, of the investment by Lemonis and the media attention 2armadillos is receiving, "but it's not something that can be passed up, given my personal mission."

Read more articles by Allyson Jacob.

Allyson Jacob is a writer originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the Innovation and Job News editor for Elevation DC. Her work has been featured in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati CityBeat. Have a tip about a small business or start-up making waves inside the Beltway? Tell her here.
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