Have you ever been on a recipe website and seen a recipe you would really like to try? Then you look at the list of ingredients, realize you don’t have half of the things needed, think about the time and hassle it will take to stop at the store, shop, wait in line . . . well, maybe I’ll just forget about this recipe. What if there was a way to browse recipes and shop at the same time? Well, that’s exactly what Recipe into Reality will do for you. RIR is a browser plug-in that allows customers to browse their usual recipe websites, bring up the list of ingredients for that recipe, check off the ingredients that they need, and then have that list sent electronically to the store of their choice. All you have to do is stop at the store on your way home and the ingredients are packaged and ready for you to pick up. What could be simpler?
Joey Petracca ’13 had the original idea for the creation of RIR. He was working in San Francisco this past summer
while living alone and found that he didn’t have time to go shopping even though he loved to cook. After asking around this appeared to be a pretty common problem, so he thought, “why not fix it?!” Once back at Colgate, Joey hooked up with Yuni Sameshima ’13 and Peter Williams ’13 to work on their project through Thought Into Action Institute. While their project has iterated a great deal from their original idea, all three students credit their TIA mentors with getting them where they are today. According to Yuni, “Without TIA, I am not sure we could have gotten to where we are at all. Experience is one of the crucial factors that we, as students, lack in the startup world. This is where the mentors come in. We are in constant contact with almost a dozen mentors on a regular basis. When we get stuck, the mentors are always there to give us the best advice they have, given their own experiences. We sift through all of this advice and come up with a plan that seems to take us in the best direction.” Andy Greenfield ’74, Wills Hapworth ’07 , Scott Annan ’05, Per Sekse ’78, and Dan O’Sullivan are just a few of the TIA mentors who have supported the RIR team, in addition to Eric Seidman ’84, a grocery consultant who has provided invaluable information to the team.
One area that the mentors successfully pushed the team was to “get out of the lab and get your product out there.” “I think this may be true for many students,” said Yuni. “It is intimidating to talk with large companies or potential customers (it’s hard enough asking a girl on a date!) We thought we had a great idea that eGrocers and consumers would like, but we really didn’t know that for a fact.” Therefore, it was a major milestone when the team recently formed a partnership with Peapod, one of the largest eGrocers in the country. This has been an enormous accomplishment and confidence builder, leading the guys to realize that they just may be on to something here!
RIR will soon be releasing a beta-product that will be available to anyone who already has, or creates a Peapod account. They will also spend next semester creating more partnerships with other eGrocers in order to expand their reach. All the while, they will be listening to customer feedback and iterating their product as necessary. “We believe that RIR can change the way people think about cooking recipes forever.”
Yuni Sameshi ’13, CEO is studying Molecular Biology and Economics. He has worked at a small-cap investment firm, Brean Murray Carret & Co. and in venture capital and startups at ff Venture Capital. At ffVC, Yuni was able to meet and talk with many of the firm’s portfolio CEOs and was enthralled by the passion and drive that they had for their companies. This ignited his own ambition to try and change the world. He has a passion for efficiency and an intolerance of whining, and is very much looking forward to turning RIR into a reality.
Joey Petracca ’13, COO is studying history and politics. This past summer he worked at Stearns Consulting in San Francisco, a political consulting firm that specializes in general consulting for candidate and ballot initiative campaigns. At Stearns, Joey specialized in digital media strategy, media buying, and copywriting. While living in SF, he gained an appreciation for the startup community that is the lifeblood of the City. As the avid foodie of the group, he cannot wait until Recipe Into Reality is up and running so he can use it too!
Peter Williams ’13, CFO is a junior majoring in history. He has experience working in healthcare consulting and private equity. Peter spent his last summer working for The Holt Group, a boutique private equity firm in Vancouver, Washington and the previous summer working for Empirica, a healthcare consulting firm in Portland, Oregon. He is full of the entrepreneurial spirit and believes that he and his partners have the drive to turn Recipe Into Reality into a successful company.