EMBA Grads Develop AirBnB for Kitchens
Entering the Kellogg-Schulich EMBA program Mellie Chow (KS 15) wanted to become a shifter and founder. What she did not expect was to meet her Co-Founder Maryam Nizam (KS 15) with whom she would launch a digitally disruptive startup, The Revolving Kitchen.
“Our idea was conceptualized after countless pivots. Our EMBA team started in Health-Tech and 3D printing, but we eventually found ourselves grounded on Food-Tech, our joint obsession,” Chow said. “We decided to focus on solving a real problem and a desperate need that many food entrepreneurs face, access to commercial kitchens.”
Their company provides food entrepreneurs access to commercially certified kitchens by connecting them to existing kitchen spaces with spare capacity. Their marketplace creates a duel revenue stream for the restaurants by optimizing their off hours and for food entrepreneurs looking for an interim space to cook prior to investing in a more permanent space.
“Access to commercial kitchens is really hard to find despite existing restaurants being frequently closed,” Chow said. “We heard many horror stories from food entrepreneurs on how rental spaces were too expensive, badly located, tenant disputes, and poor industry experiences. Our company solves these issues.”
The EMBA New Venture Design Course provided Chow and Nizam with early validation as their company was rated most likely to succeed by peers and a panel of Venture Capitalists. In their first public pitch, they won 2nd place at the Schulich Startup Night. But the biggest benefit the program provided according to Chow was that it gave them the confidence to launch their business and take the entrepreneurial plunge!
In The Revolving Kitchen’s short lifespan around 25 kitchen spaces have opened their doors to kitchen seekers. However, this is just the start for the company that wants to evolve into an incubator/accelerator for food entrepreneurs.