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Surround yourself only with people who inspire you

Spoon Guru enabling retail corporations to provide safe, compelling and personalised shopping experiences to their consumers.

Please introduce yourself and your startup Spoon Guru to our readers!

Markus Stripf, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Spoon Guru.

Spoon Guru is a fast growing tech startup – its technology enables retailers to deliver highly personalised shopping experiences tailored to every consumer, based on their distinct and unique dietary needs – increasing the choice of foods available, whilst minimising the effort to find them. It does this by combining AI, machine learning and nutritional domain expertise, enabling large and unstructured data sets to be easily searched and accurately filtered to deliver relevant choices.

How did you get the idea for Spoon Guru?

Launched in 2015 in London, Spoon Guru originated when my wife, Jeany, developed multiple food allergies.   We struggled to shop for foods she could eat, and quickly learned that this was due to lack of transparent information about products that catered to people with allergies and specific dietary preferences. Discovering there was limited help available, I took matters into my own hands and established Spoon Guru  together with 2 friends and fellow digital pioneers Simon O’Regan and Tim Allen; originally an app that is now used by tens of thousands of users and is growing exponentially. However, what we didn’t expect was the interest we would have received from retailers, and in 2017, the UK’s biggest grocery retailer, Tesco, partnered with Spoon Guru by integrating Spoon Guru’s Machine Learning technology on its online shopping platform and app.

How difficult was the start and what challenges have you had to overcome?

Operating a startup comes with its unique set of challenges. You need to able to operate on a shoestring budget, especially in the early days and you lack the corporate muscle some of the bigger companies have at their disposal. On the plus side you can afford to be much more agile and you are not being slowed down by having to deal with corporate inertia or inefficiencies stemming from unintegrated legacy systems.

Who is your target audience?

The entire food industry, especially retailers and of course consumers.  Our technology is there to help retailers help their consumers find the right food products when shopping.  Tesco’s shopping basket conversion rate has seen big increases since the Spoon Guru search and filter technology was introduced, with some search terms seeing up to a 500% increase in conversion).  And with our partnerships with Jet in the USA, Albert Heijn in the Netherlands and the Woolworths group in Australia and New Zealand, we are helping consumers there find the right products for their dietary needs.

What is the USP of your startup?

Our USP is the fact that we combine machine learning algorithms and big data processing capabilities with nutritional domain expertise to produce game changing consumer solutions for the food industry. We employ data scientists, nutritionists and world renowned health professionals to deliver ground breaking and transformative capabilities.

Can you describe a typical workday for you?

Get up at 8. Yoga. Coffee. Email. Coffee. Go to the office. Return for dinner at around 7. More email. Meditation. More email. Lights out at 12.

Where do you see yourself and your startup Spoon Guru in five years?

Spoon Guru is set to transform the world of food search and discovery. But for the immediate future the business is focused on capturing a global retail opportunity by enabling retail corporations to provide safe, compelling and personalised shopping experiences to their customers.

In addition to constantly extending the number of medical, religious and lifestyle diets, Spoon Guru’s team is on the mission to helping people make better food choices. 70% of consumers want to make healthier choices (Forbes) – yet people are often unable to do so due to limited nutrition knowledge and lack of clear communication from retailers. Spoon Guru is actively developing proprietary health diets and tools in order to make it easier for people to meet their personal objectives, and bring positive and ongoing changes in their health and wellbeing.

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?

Surround yourself only with people who inspire you

Have a mission-based culture everyone buys into, then treat people like adults (no micromanagement needed)

When you know what you stand for you don’t need to compete

More information you will find here

Thank you Markus Stripf for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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