SmartyPans is a modern day cooking system comprising of a smart cooking pan and a free recipe app. They interact with each other via bluetooth, providing live cooking feedback to the user. We let users to select a recipe from the SmartyPans app or use their own and speak to the pan and tell it what ingredients they are adding. Our app calculates nutrition information in real time and also integrates with health and fitness trackers, enabling the user to import nutrition intake directly into apps like MyFitnessPal and FitBit.
What was holding you back from being an entrepreneur?
While I was a graduate student at CMU, I enrolled in the Entrepreneurship for Software Engineers course. I learnt about business finance, building a team, scaling business, ideation, prototyping and so on. As part of the curriculum, I had to develop a product and implement all the learnings. My team built a social betting platform for live MLB & NFL games. Our site received a consistent 500 unique visitors per week, which was pretty decent traction for two weeks worth of work. I loved every aspect of running this gig but the engineer in me craved for more technical challenges. A few years later when my sister Prachi, approached me with this crazy idea of building a smart cooking pan, I knew I had to be involved! I quit my job, started working on the pan and here I am, running a startup with my sister.
What was your worst entrepreneurial moment?How did you gain clarity and know what steps to do next?
Before SmartyPans, I cofounded GrubShire with two of my friends. GrubShire was a tablet based ordering system for restaurants, something on the lines of e La Carte. I was the only tech guy in a team of three and it took me around seven months to build the web architecture, mobile apps and the receipt printer interfaces. We ran our beta in three restaurants in San Francisco but couldn't scale and had to shut it down in the next six months. That I think would be my worst entrepreneurial moment, killing something I truly cared about!
I cope with such situations with a quick failure analysis:
- Things that went horribly wrong and why.
- Things that could have been done better.
- Things that went really well.
This helps avoid making the same mistakes again. With each project I work on I learn something new, which just helps refine strategies for the next project. My job at SmartyPans is to build the technology. I was able to implement learnings from past successful and failed projects and we are in a really good shape.
What did you get out of presenting at 1MC?
My CEO Prachi presented at 1 MC, I was around for the Q&A. It was a humbling experience to see how people I've never seen before in my life, willing to help us identify the issues in our startup and how do we go about fixing it.
How can someone reading this help you?
At this moment we're working towards getting the final production ready prototype. We'd like you to sign up to our mailing list. That way we can keep you posted when you can purchase this awesome product. You can sign up here.