Startup Weekend SF ’14: Team YES CHEF!

Wow, what a weekend. The following post is about team Yes, Chef!‘s journey over Startup Weekend San Francisco 2014. A narrated, voice-controlled recipe reading app, that was actually a shipped product on the Google Play Store by Sunday morning! Read below for more.

yes chef!

On Friday morning, the Startup Catalyst crew learned about Lean Startups with Mike Bestvina – where we really consolidated everything we’ve been told from 4 days of panel talks, meet-ups, and discussions! The afternoon was dedicated to pitching practice, and at 6pm Startup Weekend San Francisco 2014 officially kicked off.

There were 60 initial ideas were pitched (every Aussie in the room pitched! you guys rock), then voted down to the top 15 ideas. Yes, Chef! was one of them – a voice-controlled, narrated recipes app to keep your sticky fingers off your phone while you are cooking – keeping your eyes and hands on your food, meaning you don’t burn your chicken! This was an idea I thought of while Mike Bestvina was talking about making a recipe OCR app for his mother, or sister.

I cannot believe what happened after my first pitch.

I wanted to do something a little bit fun. After the top 15 pitches were announced, I realised that a lot of people liked the idea, but they wanted to work on the other projects (which were all really cool!). Finally, after much hustling, the Yes, Chef! team was formed, and we got stuck in.

Elliot, Alex (from Startup Catalyst), and Gweltaz (from France) could not have been a more awesome team. Gweltaz helped us knuckle down on an MVP on a business model canvas, and focused on market research, while Alex and Elliot got stuck into developing an Android App, I took care of whatever was needed in between.

Yes, Chef! Burndown Yes, Chef! Business Model Canvas

By Saturday night, we had a product that we were happy with, and we SHIPPED! We are really impressed by how hassle-free it is to upload a product that users will pay for within 24 hours, onto the Google Play store. We’re still waiting on Google analytics for the up-to-date sales numbers, but we are currently (Monday 24/11/14) Top Selling New in the Health and Fitness category (and somewhere around 43rd in the Global Trending category) – that’s just nuts. Well done guys. We know that at least 30 purchases have been made!

Yes, Chef! ShippedTop 2 in Top Selling“There’s no validation like sales.” – Alex

By Sunday afternoon (the final day of Startup Weekend), we had already pushed out an update to our lovely users, improving on the voice recognition, and some more UI features. We practiced our pitch (followed by a trip the pub for some liquid courage) and that night team Yes, Chef! presented the final pitch. To our delight we placed 3rd overall, as well as Crowd Favourite! #yeschef

Final Pitch Yes Chef!

Third Place Yes Chef!


From the first pitch, I never expected this, what an awesome way to end the weekend.

Congrats to all the other teams (with Aussie members in each!), and our biggest rival, Done. who were able to ship a product and that can an Uber automatically, depending on your calendar. How cool is that!

Thanks so much to all the mentors and organisers who have volunteered so much of their time, the generosity here has really been overwhelming. You rock!

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