Here comes a new startup Spoon University that aims to teach the young millennials what and what not to eat. This Food-for-thought-for-the-youth website has recently raised $2 million from early stage investors.
Founded in 2013, by Mackenzie Barth and Sarah Adler, the startup Spoon University is a crowd-sourced, would-be Food Network for millennial. The website would share recipes, health and lifestyle stories, restaurant reviews, Buzz-Feed quizzes and other food-related content. It targets at the youth offering localized and more general stories about food, wellness and lifestyle. The website works to “emphasize the real, authentic, raw fund side of food that you don’t really get with other companies like Food Network,” said Berth. The company grew up to a 100-person student staff at Northwestern university’s campus.
The startup wants to embrace healthy eating and living and it sources tips, tricks, food reviews and content. Popular stories on the site consists of ’18 facts every Tofu Newbie should know’ and ’11 spoonfeed ice cream concoctions that are dope AF’
“We are building it from within the community,” said Berth who is also the CEO of the company. “We have 3000 college students around the country who are building up content. They all volunteer. What motivates them is this whole food movement.”Students from other universities came to them asking for similar project in their campuses for which the project was replicated at five other colleges to test it. After its success, now the company has been moved to New York City to expand business and has more than 120 participating college campuses.
The startup raised $2 million in seed round just after months of successful completion of TechStars’ NYC accelerator program. SoftTech VC led the round and additional investors include Joanne Wilson, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Box Group, VaynerRSE, BBG Ventures, MATH fund, Howard Morgan, Project Mayhem Ventures, Kosinski Ventures and RuggedVC.
With the new funds, Spoon University plans to expand new chapters on college campuses around the world. It is also working to launch a video program apart from the existing written and multimedia content. The company has advisors that include digital media startup like Bryan Goldberg, the CEO and founder of Bustle and Bleacher Report, and Chris Altchek, the CEO of Mic. Most of its readers are women. They have bunch of writers from different colleges to give quality and good contents.
“We empower our editors in chief to really produce better content, to lead their editorial vision for their chapter, because every school is so different,” says Barth. “But then we curate the best content on Spoon’s national homepage and we give people analytics feedback so they know what’s performing well. There’s constant learning going on. For having 3000 contributors, the content overall is pretty strong, which is great.”
However, Spoon University is different and unique which will not be everyone’s cup of tea. Adler and Berth are quite unique themselves. “The magic behind Spoon University and the engine with which we run our business in ‘Secret Sauce,'” said Addler. “Our proprietary on boarding, training and analytics system has enabled us to expand from one chapter to Northwestern in 2013 to over 100 university chapters in the US, Canada and India.