Editor's Note: See all our Excelerate Labs coverage here.
WHAT: CookItFor.Us connects people who are too busy to cook with licensed chefs and caterers in their area who need customers. To get a chef/caterer to make a recipe, people can like ("crave") one that's already on the site or upload one they find online. Those who own a recipe can post it by joining the recipe affiliate site. The more craves a recipe receives, the more likely a chef/caterer will make it. Chefs/caterers then bid on price to make the dish. Depending on the chef/caterer making the dish, people can have the food delivered to their home, pick it up, or eat it at a restaurant.
Newest feature is "Request a Maker": CookItForUs will find a chef/caterer within 72 hours who can make a recipe on the site for you.
While the demand-driven model is currently only available in Chicago, Request a Maker will eventually roll out nationwide.
LAUNCHERS: Moshe Tamssot, CEO. Conrad Fuhrman, CTO. Larry Johnson, operations advisor.
WHEN/WHERE: October 2010 / Chicago, Public Beta
WHY: Alternative to fast food and frozen/pre-packaged meals at the grocery store. It's easy to find recipes online but much harder to find someone who can make it for you unless you hire a private chef or catering service. Local fresh foods should be as accessible and convenient as mass-produced items. Consumers like supporting local businesses. Services like Airbnb and GetAround (for cars) have proven there's a market for matching people who have more time than money with people who have more money than time.
BACKSTORY: After growing up with restaurateur parents and working in the food industry, Moshe decided it was time to join the food revolution. "Have you see a hostess fruit pie and all the ingredients in that?" Moshe said. "We knew people wanted something different than what we were selling. We thought, why can't we democratize the production of food?"
He formed a team -- who had never met or worked together before -- to compete in the 2010 Social Dev Camp Chicago Hackathon, where they won Overall Best App for their iPhone app CookieBots, a service that connected a consumer's recipe to a baker to get the cookies made. This became the basis of CookItFor.Us.
BUSINESS MODEL: 20% service fee on each order, of which the recipe holder earns 5%. The recipe holder can cash out their earnings once they reach $50.
COMPETITION: Fast food outlets, restaurants that deliver, packaged and frozen meals at grocery stores.
TARGET MARKETS: Two-income professional families, social foodies, people with food restrictions and those with family cooking traditions.
CUSTOMERS/GROWTH: Not disclosing.
PHILOSOPHY: A lifestyle solution and lifetime solution.
ON EXCELERATE LABS: As part of Excelerate Labs in Chicago, CookItFor.Us has experimented with and explored other revenue streams. These include the Request a Maker program.
INVESTORS: Beyond Excelerate Labs -- not disclosed.
RAISING: $800K, $75K committed
Once you crave a recipe, you can choose to share it with your friends and family to garner more craves to increase the likelihood your recipe will get made.
If you are a licensed professional chef or restaurant, you can set a price point, minimum and maximum orders, availability and methods of delivery.
1. "Hackathons Offer Shot at Full-Speed-Ahead Innovation" (Chicago Tribune, Oct. 10, 2010)
2. "Meet the midventuresLAUNCH people's choice winners: CookItFor.US" (midventuresLAUNCH, Oct. 12, 2010)
3. "'Farm Fresh' Movement a Growing Trend" (CNN, Aug. 17, 2009)
CONTACTS & LINKS
Email: mtamssot at cookitforus dot com
Email: cfuhrman at cookitforus dot com
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