David Rabie is the Founder and CEO of Tovala, the creator of a smart oven that cooks perfectly made meals by baking, boiling and steaming them in under 30 minutes. The meals can either be delivered prepackaged from Tovala or be made using a crowdsourced recipe. Last winter, Tovala graduated from Y-Combinator and a few months ago Tovala launched a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $255,603 with over 1,000 backers. Before starting Tovala, David was an MBA at Chicago Booth, and he worked for the co-founder and CEO of Veggie Grill and ran Groovy Spoon – a bi-coastal chain of frozen yogurt stores. He also spent time working at Google and Foundation Capital.
In This Episode You Will Learn:
- Why he decided to pair food delivery with a smart oven
- How they came up with the name Tovala
- How David found his first engineer
- How they decided on the price of the oven and the food
- How they prepared for their successful Kickstarter campaign
- What they got out of Y-Combinator?
- Why they decided to come back to Chicago after Y-Combinator?
- Why he wishes he had found a co-founder earlier
- How to test for cultural fit and avoid mishires
- The importance of establishing connections with VCs before you need money
Selected Links From The Episode:
- Michael Seibel, Co-founder of Twitch & Partner at Y-Combinator
- Jason Heltzer, VC at Origin Ventures & Professor at Chicago Booth
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz
- High Output Management by Andrew S. Grove
- Bevy: a Chicago startup delivering everything you need, but don’t want to own, for amazing experiences. Own Less. Live More.