Editors Note: Appetite competed in the McGill Dobson Cup 2016 and walked away with an Honourable Mention in the Small & Medium Enterprise Track. Appetite then went on to participate in the McGill X-1 Accelerator 2016 this past summer and pitched their startup for the first time in September at McGill Montreal Demo Day 2016.
By Sean Kaiser, Co-founder and CEO of Appetite
Three Engineering Students, an Entrepreneurship Advisor, and a Business Mentor walk into a bar… How it started with a class and ended up at Demo Day! Learn how students are tapping into the resources available to them on campus and putting their entrepreneurial ideas and skills into practice.
From a tech entrepreneurship class to customer discovery to McGill Montreal Demo Day: our Appetite Grows!
It all started by chance. BUSA 465: Technological Entrepreneurship was the only class that fit into Sean and Kristina’s schedule. The premise of the entire entrepreneurship course was simple: come up with a business idea and put together a pitch to present. With this in mind, the inception of Appetite came when they were studying on campus and thinking of what to do for dinner. Most food nearby is either expensive, unhealthy, or both. Why not pick up some home-cooking from a student making dinner in the nearby student neighbourhood surrounding the university?
It was from this simple idea that sparked the start of their business: an online platform for students to buy and sell meals they prepare in their own kitchens. In the next few days they went to the Innovations Catalyst in Engineering (ICE) weekly drop-in hours at the Engineering Student Centre and spoke with the ICE Manager, Katya Marc, for help with what to do next.
It was at ICE where Sean and Kristina, alongside Paul, all co-founders of Appetite, learned their first lesson: the need to be able to succinctly express your idea in one sentence. After a few minutes of bumbling and long explanations, they were advised to use the customer discovery process and actually interview and talk to their end users. They still use this advice, the best thing you can do if you have an idea for a business is to make sure that your solution actually solves a problem. No better way to do this than by talking to those who would use it! To date, they have interviewed over 650 end users.
The team finished the class and felt that they could take the idea to the next level. They went on to compete in the McGill Dobson Cup 2016, but not before competing in the Pacific Venture Capital Competition in Vancouver where they placed 2nd of 120 teams. They ended up with an Honourable Mention in the Small & Medium Enterprise Track in the McGill Dobson Cup 2016 and were able to secure a spot in McGill X-1 Accelerator 2016 cohort.
Appetite was also also successful in applying for the inaugural Faculty of Engineering/Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship (EngInE) TechAccel grant, a new program introduced in the spring of 2016 focused on stimulating technologically-based innovation and entrepreneurship in collaboration with the McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship, the McGill Invention Development and Entrepreneurship Assistance (IDEA), the Quartier de l’innovation, and the McGill Innovation Constellation.
On September 7, 2016 Appetite joined the McGill X-1 Accelerator teams where they pitched to hundreds of students, alumni, and investors at the McGill Montreal Demo Day 2016.
Appetite’s website has been live since McGill Montreal Demo Day, enabling people to buy and sell food, pay online, and rate their meals! Check it out and order your first meal on Appetite today!