Like many of the students in the crowd funding course, Willied Hessein realized very quickly that having a great idea is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the launch process.

He’s created an almond-based, vegan Alfredo sauce called Vegitano. And this fall, he’s been discovering the ins and outs of what it really takes to launch a food product.

“You're not going learn everything from a book,” he says. “I spoke with a few food scientists, all of whom opened my mind to different possibilities and the things that I have do in order to get this product ready and viable for commercial sale. It was then I realized, ‘Oh, this is not as easy as I thought it was. This is going to take some extra work.’ Not so much research, but just talking to people and understanding what I have to do.”

That kind of hands-on experience has been incredibly valuable for Willied, who’s a double major in Entrepreneurship and Global Business.

 “The course has really set me up for the real world, I believe. If I do decide to start my own business one day, I've contacted many people. I've learned to go outside my comfort zone and not to be scared. Suffolk has expanded my thinking skills. I never knew I could think this way!”

Now that Vegitano has launched, Willied’s already thinking about the next entry is his retail empire.

“I'm actually creating a new product based on Vegitano,” he says. “When I make the sauce, I'm actually straining my own almond milk. And when I’m done straining, I'm left with almond grounds. So instead of throwing them away, I've decided to use the leftover almonds to create a facial exfoliating scrub.”