2017 SVP Startup Profile: Cathexis
John Whelan MBA’18, Co-Founder
Simon Kohnstamm MBA’18, Co-Founder
What’s Cathexis Labs?
Cathexis Labs uses emerging technologies to change the way that food reaches consumers in order to reduce food waste.
What is the story behind your startup?
John’s passionate about food, and Simon’s an avid environmentalist/techie. Together we want to change the world and make money doing it. John has spent a lot of time in the kitchen thinking about food systems and sustainability, and recruited Simon to tackle the big, dumb, environmentally costly problem of food waste.
What’s been a big milestone/accomplishment you’ve made since Summer Venture Program started?
Our biggest takeaway from this program is the importance of challenging the core assumptions of the business model we’re working on, starting with the riskiest first.
What’s been a big obstacle/surprise that you faced?
We entered the program making some big assumptions. We started by focusing on a consumer product, then pivoted to a business-facing product and found time and time again that consumer interviews radically changed our view of the market. It turns out that consumers’ care about food waste but behavioral change is really hard, and that grocery stores turn over their inventory way faster than we anticipated.
Any tips for aspiring entrepreneurs that you want to share?
Always vet your assumptions, and always be talking to customers.
Meet Cathexis Labs at the Summer Venture Showcase on Thursday July 27. Register now! >>