Hi everyone, it's Sima, TPL's 2016 Entrepreneur in Residence. I am excited to blog about my personal experience with the evolution of riince from concept to prototype to ... ??? Follow along...we are in the middle of an amazing journey!
The idea for riince was ‘cooked up’ in the kitchen with the help of my teenage daughter and a little entrepreneurial spirit. My daughter loves cooking and she follows many food channels, bloggers and feeds, and is always trying new ideas and recipes. I’m her sous-chef in the kitchen, and when she became vegan, she started experimenting with grains and seeds.
One day, she texted me and asked me to prepare some quinoa for her, for when she got home from school because she had a couple of new recipes to try out. As I was pouring the quinoa out of the bag into a measuring cup, I asked myself how she washes it before she cooks it? When I checked online, I read about saponins and how this natural detergent coats the seed. I thought it was pretty cool that it’s harvested for use in natural soaps, but I also realized it was a contaminant that needed to be rinsed off prior to cooking.
Preparing quinoa needed more attention and care than rice, which was our previous go-to. I realized there was no single utensil to do the job of measuring and cleaning while making sure that none of the washed seeds were lost down the drain. We looked at the tools in our kitchen drawer, and started imagining "this" scoop with "that" handle ... "this" size versus "that" size ... how to make it mechanical without making it complicated. Over the next few weeks, we continued to brainstorm the concept and our excitement grew. We realized we had conceived something unique, useful and easy to understand! Riince was our solution to combine the "Measure. Rinse. Dispense" steps and make the prep of grains, seeds and lentils fast and easy!
Disruption Take-Away #1: If you are experiencing a problem, others probably are too. The solution might be a viable product or business idea.
Great story, Sima! TPL Librarian, Alessya, here. For anyone else with a budding idea or a general interest in entrepreneurship, check out some great resources available at Toronto Public Library such as:
Next Step: Develop a Value Proposition.