In 2016, Geoff Woo and Michael Brandt went on Shark Tank, sought a sky-high valuation for their supplements startup, Nootrobox, and were all but laughed off the set. So they changed the name to HVMN (say human) and refocused on broadly optimizing performance. The company's new flagship product is HVMN Ketone. It tastes like nail polish remover and costs $33 per serving.
It's the first drink on the market with ketone esters, which are released when fat breaks down and account for the energy surge experienced by people on fasts. HVMN's clients include NFL teams, but Woo is thinking bigger. "There's going to be some shift of caloric content from sugar," he says. Maybe. But there's that gnarly flavor and an equally unpleasant aftertaste (which takes several minutes to dissipate)--and one 2.2-ounce serving costs as much as a case of Red Bull. Woo says $33 is, in some ways, a bargain-- during R&D, producing a bottle cost more than $25,000. Bottoms up!