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A Startup Interview w/ FoodGenius

We are starting a new blog series on the Visible blog featuring some of the amazing companies that are utilizing the Visible platform.

To kick things off we sat down with one of our earliest users, Eli Rosenberg, who is the COO at Food Genius. They are a Chicago startup tracking over 50 million restaurant menu items! Big data meets the food industry. #boom.

Check out the Q&A below with Eli below.

image<——this is Eli by the way.

What is Food Genius in 1 sentence? 

Food Genius™ is an award-winning technology and services company that delivers big data and insight solutions to the food industry.
What is your business model? (who do you charge)? 
We offer an annual SaaS subscription package that includes a set of bundled technology, services, consulting and diverse deliverables for clients in the food Industry.
Who are some of the most interesting customers or use-case examples? 
We work with some of the top restaurant chains, as well as some of the top foodservice manufacturers, distributors and food companies in the US.  Our biggest clients include companies like Kraft, Safeway, Reinhart and DineEquity. These clients are all leveraging Food Genius to better understand the current restaurant menu landscape.
Do you have any company traditions? Any unique culture “hacks”?
We have a tradition of blowing a conch shell when we sign up new clients.  It lets the broader team (and the whole building) know that we’ve got something to celebrate and we’re excited by the energy of adding clients to our roster.   From a culture standpoint we’ve made it a point, since we were just 4 or 5 people, of sharing a team lunch once a week.  It helps keep everyone on the same page about whats going on and build relationships across out teams. We share new foods, talk about client success stories, learn about marketing initiatives or how the product is being developed.  It’s fun and informal, but informative and functional.
What metrics are key to Food Genius? 
The biggest metrics for us are Bookings, MRR and CMRR (which is just a variation of MRR that remove revenue that is unlikely to continue). These together give us a much clearer picture of the health of the business than just Bookings or MRR on its own.  We also like to look at the growth of our account base and actual expenses compared to projections.
How do you currently send investor updates? 
For awhile we had been using a simple spreadsheet on Google Drive, as well as updating our Visible dashboard. Starting in 2014 we’ll be exclusively updating our investors through the Visible dashboard.  Our investors love it and its dead simple to update and maintain.
What is next for Food Genius? What has you excited? 
2014 is going to be a huge year at Food Genius.  We’re in the process of innovating our services to make everything we do more valuable to the various groups we serve within the food industry.  We’re also expanding our team and data, preparing to incorporate new information and analyses into our services.
We also have some exciting speaking engagements and event sponorships lined up. We are all very happy with the reception Food Genius has received from the industry and can’t wait to grow in 2014.

image

(an example of the Food Genius dashboard)

You can find out more about Food Genius on their Website, Twitter, Facebook, and AngelList!
If you want to use Visible for your fund or startup. Shoot Mike an email.

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