On Episode 3 of Steve Harvey’s Funderdome, Mike Bradford from Texas pitched his product, the Wonderffle Waffle Iron. Hosted by Steve Harvey, entrepreneurs pitch in a head-to-head competition to “The Funderdome” (a live studio audience) for the chance to win up to $100K in capital. The pitch that gets the most votes wins the money. Before the winner is announced, both competitors get the chance to “cash out” for a lower sum of money.
Brandon Andrews of Values Partnerships sat down with Mike after the show.
(The Wonderffle Waffle Iron. Image: ABC/Lisa Rose)
Stuffed waffles! What’s the “Wonderffle” story?
My first encounter with a plate of chicken and waffles became the genesis of Wonderffle. Growing up, that wasn’t a dish that I was too familiar with. In fact, I thought it was a silly concept. To me, waffles were only for breakfast and fried chicken was for only for lunch or dinner. One day, while at lunch with co-workers, though, I saw them for the first time in real life. Just seeing that plate of waffles covered with a big slab of syrup-drizzled fried chicken got me thinking of the state of waffles in this world. Waffles just hadn’t kept up with our busy lifestyles. You can’t eat them on the go without making a mess unless you’re eating a plain waffle—and that’s no fun.
So first thing I did was to look for a better waffle maker. After a pretty thorough search, I decided to use my engineering background to build my own. Three years later, I introduced my invention to the public.