At Startacus we love to highlight and feature innovative and creative initiatives that are happening all over the world that inspire us and we hope will inspire some of you too. One such project is the Startup Kitchen programme which started earlier this year in Washington DC. The project is enabling a startup food entrepreneur to partner with a local restaurant and to temporarily operate their food concept in a restaurant environment, without of course any of the normal hindrances of risk and investment.
The project which started in June of this year required aspiring restaurateurs to present a business model and to cook for a panel of established industry veterans. The professionals then reviewed each of the entries both by tasting their food, and also by assessing and critiquing their business models.
The prize for the winning applicant was pretty special: - the opportunity to take over the kitchen of Domku, a local Slavic and Scandinavian restaurant, for one day a week for a period of 4 weeks - the opportunity to test and try out recipes in a real commercial kitchen - the chance to create a marketing buzz and interest - the opportunity to get direct feedback from real customers about the food and the concept
The project is masterminded by local entrepreneur Kera Carpenter in partnership with the Think Local First DC initiative. The recently announced winner, Priya Ammu, will also benefit from the ongoing support and advice they will receive from Kera, herself a successful restaurateur. She will gain expert advice on everything from budgeting and pricing through to where to purchase ingredients. This incubation process will enable the budding restaurateur to gain real practical knowledge and insight that she would never ordinarily get the chance to. The Startup Kitchen starts for real, next week, September 17th and by all accounts will be a pretty successful affair.
Initiatives like this that can really empower and inspire people to go forward and do their own thing have to be commended. Great work Kera and the Startup Kitchen team and good luck Priya!
Whilst of course location may mean that you may not be able to get directly involved with this particular project, it doesn’t mean you couldn’t initiate or develop a similar idea or project wherever you are. If this is inspiring you to create your own version of the Startup Kitchen, do let us know - we’d love to hear all about it.