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Dec 27, 2023
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Prioritize resilience, surround yourself with a diverse and talented team, and don't shy away from seeking mentorship and networking.

  • Aditya Mehta, Co-Founder, Epicure Robotics.

 

Aditya Mehta, Co-Founder of Epicure Robotics

shares his startup journey from idea to execution to overcome challenges, in an interview with the 100X.VC team.

 

  1. How did the idea of Epicure Robotics come up?

Gokulraj and I, both recent graduates, shared a passion for revolutionizing the food industry using technology. Gokulraj had this brilliant idea of incorporating robotics into kitchens, aiming for consistent and hygienic food preparation. Interestingly, I was already contemplating the use of automation, specifically in delivering food to customers. After some brainstorming and research, we decided to combine our ideas and embark on the journey of creating automated kitchens.

  1. What made you start working on Epicure Robotics and executing this idea?

Our aspiration was to create robots for the general public, rather than just industries. Despite high demand in the past 50 years due to a 60% attrition rate in the kitchen industry, minimal innovation occurred beyond electric fryers. In contrast to expensive robotic arms used in fancy kitchens globally, we opted for classic automation, offering a cost-effective solution to address industry challenges.

  1. When did you realise the need to raise Venture Capital - Seed funding?

Recognizing the need for Venture Capital and seed funding dawned upon us as we progressed through the early stages of Epicure Robotics. As we delved into developing cutting-edge technologies for automated kitchens and food vending machines, we understood the significance of securing financial support to scale our operations. The decision to seek Venture Capital and seed funding was driven by our ambition to accelerate product development, conduct successful pilots, and establish a robust foundation for the growth of our innovative food tech startup.

  1. How has 100X helped you at the beginning of your journey?

Securing funding from 100x.vc in April 2023 marked a pivotal moment for Epicure Robotics. In the nascent stages of our journey, 100x.vc provided more than just financial support; they brought invaluable mentorship, strategic guidance, and a vast network of industry connections. Their hands-on approach significantly accelerated our growth trajectory, aiding in refining our business strategy, navigating challenges, and establishing a solid foundation for success. The partnership with 100x.vc has been instrumental in shaping our vision, fostering innovation, and propelling Epicure Robotics towards becoming a trailblazer in the food tech industry.

  1. What challenges did you face & how did you overcome them?

Before securing funding, we navigated financial constraints by freelancing, leveraging our skills to manage capital for Epicure Robotics—a hardware startup inherently demanding substantial investment. Navigating Epicure Robotics' journey presented multifaceted challenges. Recruiting key hires, especially engineers, demanded rigorous efforts to attract top talent. Operations and logistics hurdles surfaced during manufacturing, where procuring components proved challenging. Striking a balance between safety, aesthetics, and reliability in consumer-facing products necessitated meticulous design refinements. Business strategy posed a pivotal challenge: determining whether to begin with a B2B or B2C approach, a decision requiring a thorough evaluation of market dynamics and consumer engagement. Overcoming these challenges involved collaborative problem-solving, strategic partnerships, and an unwavering commitment to our vision.

  1. What stage is Epicure Robotics at present?

Currently in our early stages, as a pre-revenue startup, our primary focus is on piloting our fresh smoothie vending machine. Following that, we aim to launch our first food kiosk equipped with an automated kitchen, bringing personalized and healthy food experiences to our customers.

  1. As a founder, what are your goals for the next 1-2 years?

As a founder, my primary goals for the next 1-2 years revolve around executing our ambitious roadmap for Epicure Robotics. Our focus is on refining our products, understanding customer patterns, expanding our market presence, and solidifying strategic partnerships. Additionally, we aspire to continue innovating, ensuring that Epicure Robotics remains at the forefront of revolutionizing the food industry with cutting-edge technology.

  1. What keeps you motivated & keeps you going?

Our motivation stems from a passion for robotics and food. We wanted to address the common challenges faced by consumers – inconsistent taste, longer wait time, lack of personalisation, and hygiene concerns. By leveraging robotics and automation, we aim to elevate the standards of food preparation and create a positive impact on the way food is consumed.

  1. Your message for Startup founders building in the same sector?

To fellow startup founders venturing into the same sector, embrace the challenges as opportunities to innovate. Prioritize resilience, surround yourself with a diverse and talented team, and don't shy away from seeking mentorship and networking. Understand your market deeply, iterate relentlessly based on user feedback, and maintain a relentless focus on quality, safety, and customer experience. Learn from setbacks, stay adaptable, and leverage each experience to refine your vision. Most importantly, believe in the transformative power of your idea and let passion drive you through the ups and downs. Your journey will be tough, especially in hardware, but the impact you can create is boundless. Best of luck!

 

About Aditya Mehta:

Aditya Mehta has completed his B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from PES University, Bangalore. He has 2 years of experience in food business and robotics. 

He has worked in a robotic arm manufacturing company. As the CEO of Epicure Robotics, he oversees the strategic direction and execution of the company's vision, focusing on developing state-of-the-art robotic kitchens and kiosks.

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