Weekly Spoon: New Food Funding Models, The Anova Nano, Apple's HomePod, State of RF Cooking

Without a doubt, food and cooking entrepreneurs have benefitted greatly from the arrival of democratized funding models in recent years. Kickstarter and Indiegogo have enabled startups like PicoBrew and Anova to launch major new product lines, while providing big companies like GE and Whirlpool a much quicker way to validate new product concepts than traditional methods.

But sometimes general-purpose crowdfunding isn't the right avenue to fund a food business. A food business may have short-term working capital needs or just need tailored advice about which market to target. This need for specialized approaches have given rise to new food funding platforms, and this week at The Spoon, our newest writer, Gigaom alum Sam Dean, takes a look at food-centric funding platforms such as PieShell and Credibles. 

Last week was a big one for the connected home, with Apple finally launching their competitor to the Amazon Echo and Google Home in the HomePod at WWDC. The HomePod is a connected speaker - but also a clear indicator of where Apple plans to take HomeKit and the smart home. Don't miss our analysis.

The sous vide market continues to heat up, with Anova announcing a $99 sous vide machine that's lighter and cheaper than previous versions. The company joins Gourmia with a sub $100 sous vide device and proof that sous vide has come a long way from French kitchens in the 18th century.

The microwave just turned 50, but advancements in cooking engineering might threaten its dominance as the fast-cook machine in our kitchens.One of the technologies taking aim at the old-school microwave is RF solid state cooking. Listen to our podcast with Goji Solutions President Yuval Ben-Haim to learn about where Goji sees the state of RF cooking.

As always some quick Smart Kitchen Summit news - if you're a startup in the food tech or connected kitchen market, you don't want to miss the chance to be in our Startup Showcase. Top 15 companies get a free demo table at the Summit -- deadline to apply is August 15

If you're not a startup but want to come to SKS in October -  Take 25% off early bird prices with code NEWSLETTER.

Have a great week,

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In the 06/12/2017 edition:

Hungry for Funding? New Avenues for Food Startup Financing are Opening Up

By Sam Dean on Jun 12, 2017 09:41 am
Ask many people how to find funding for emerging food projects, and lots of them will point to crowdsourcing sites. After all, sites such as Kickstarter have driven concepts ranging from PicoBrew to the Anova Precision Cooker to levels of funding that would put a smile on any startup founder’s face. Indeed, when it comes […]
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Kickstarter Entrepreneurs Ride the Popularity Wave of Probiotic Foods

By Allen Weiner on Jun 12, 2017 06:34 am
Probiotics are a budding segment of the food part of the crowdsourcing world. While most new efforts are focused on pickles, fermented sodas and kombucha, a team of Slovenian Kickstarter veterans are showcasing the wonders of probiotic cheese. Kefirko Cheese Maker comes on the heels of the successful 2015 launch of Kefirko, a device that […]
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The Smart Home Weekly: HomeKit’s Big Week & The Debut of HomePod

By Michael Wolf on Jun 09, 2017 10:03 am
Each week I look at the biggest story in smart home and give context to what’s happening in the connected home around the web. This was the most important week for HomeKit since Apple announced it in June 2014. That’s because, on Monday the company announced a host of critical updates to their smart home […]
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Podcast: The State of RF Cooking With Yuval Ben-Haim

By Michael Wolf on Jun 09, 2017 07:15 am
On the 50th birthday on the microwave, the core technology behind the fast-cook workhorse faces an uncertain future. One of the technologies taking aim at the old-school microwave is RF solid state cooking. A company that figures to be a key player in the RF cooking space is Goji Solutions. With a portfolio of technology […]
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Meet U-Bruu, The Latest Take On The Modern Home Kegerator

By Michael Wolf on Jun 08, 2017 07:37 am
Back when I was a kid, my dad converted an old fridge in our garage into a kegerator that served both beer and soft drinks from small minikegs he’d buy from a local distributor. While I was too young to consume the beer, I downed frosty mugs of cold Coca-Cola and root beer and became […]
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Anova Opens Pre-Orders For The Sub-$100 Nano

By Michael Wolf on Jun 07, 2017 05:41 pm
This week, Anova opened up pre-orders for their Nano, the company’s first sub-$100 sous vide circulator. The device, which ships in October, is 25% smaller and a full pound lighter than the company’s Wi-Fi Precision Cooker. Perhaps more importantly, the Nano comes in about $70 less than the company’s flagship product. The full price for the […]
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Analysis: With HomePod, Apple May Finally Deliver On The Promise Of HomeKit

By Michael Wolf on Jun 06, 2017 04:21 pm
After months of rumors, Apple finally introduced a wireless streaming speaker called HomePod this week, their first new hardware product since the Apple Watch debuted in 2015.  The Siri-enabled wireless speaker also doubles as a HomeKit powered smart home hub, giving Apple a new fixed HomeKit control point beyond Apple TV. The HomePod will ship in […]
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Yes, Millennials Are Staying Home To Cook. Here’s What They’re Making

By Michael Wolf on Jun 05, 2017 10:49 am
Last week, Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith wrote a letter to investors to tell them that times are tough in the world of fast casual dining. According to Smith, one of the big reasons for the struggles of Applebee’s and others in the world of fast dining is millennials are eschewing mountainous plates of fried fare to […]
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The WWDC 2017 Prediction Show (Smart Home Edition)

By Michael Wolf on Jun 03, 2017 07:28 am
Are you ready for WWDC? Apple’s big developer conference is just three days away, and so it’s time to make some predictions. I get together with my old friend Adam Justice from Connectsense to discuss what we can expect this coming Monday from Apple on the smart home front. Topics discussed include: We speculate whether Apple will […]
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ChefSteps Expands Further Into Food With Launch Of Pre-Cooked Meals

By Michael Wolf on Jun 02, 2017 11:16 am
Back in February, I  wrote about ChefSteps’ plan to create a meat ‘marketplace’ that would connect “independent ranchers with ChefSteps users, offering them direct access to high-quality meat and ingredients at great prices.” As it turns out, this effort was part of a larger initiative to expand into food sales that is starting to come […]
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