SousChef – HBS Startup Creates The Killer Google Glass Cooking App

Thursday May 1, 2014 by Josh Boyle - Director of Community & Marketing, VentureFizz

Google Glass is not yet widely available, but come 2015 they are set to roll out some 9 Million units and six Harvard Business School students are keen to enter the unsaturated ‘wearables’ market. 

Calley Means, one of the founders of SousChef, is the marketing and branding brains of the diverse team that consists of students from India, Texas and Germany.  The team, initially received $7,500 in funding through the Harvard Incubator program.  They will be moving out of the Harvard iLab and looking to secure funding this summer.  Other members of the founding team who all shared the mutual interest in the ‘wearables’ market include, Shaheen Shah, Jake Gotta, Travis Reese, Bastian Putter, Derek Geiger and Obasi Shaw. 

Means told me they had as many as “50 ideas on the board” when brainstorming their venture. Ultimately, cooking hit the key unique attributes of Google Glass that they wanted to take advantage of; hands free and integrated into one’s life. It also helped that they were all “scared of cooking.” Is there a better way to tell if your product does its job than becoming a success story yourself? 

Allthecooks is SousChef’s main rival right now and, unlike SousChef, Allthecooks is featured under Google’s Official Glass List. However, Means made it clear that this shouldn’t be the case, telling me that Allthecooks is a repurposed app and isn’t made specifically for Glass. Because of this, their recipes don’t fit properly on the pages causing a poor user experience.  SousChef is custom built for Glass with a specific set of characters on each page, photos for every step (making things simple and clear for us non-chefs), and to differentiate even further, completely voice-activated. While Allthecooks requires touch throughout the cooking process. 

Means believes they should be the “official use-case” for Glass and fully expects to become the go-to cooking app when Glass launches in 2015. The team is close to signing a deal with a major recipe provider. Until now, they’ve partnered with a variety of chefs around Boston to populate their 20+ available recipes. 

The app has been available for about two weeks and they’re averaging 12 downloads per day among the limited amount of Glass Explorers (~15,000). They’ve put some marketing dollars into targeted Google+ and Facebook ads. Means says they’ll continue dialog with Glass to get on the ‘Official List,’ ideally replacing Allthecooks. 

Cooking is a huge market that fits the Glass experience according to Means and SousChef is firmly focusing on that user experience for now.  The team is excited about the monetization opportunities down the road, but they are not placing any emphasis there just yet. For now, they are setting out to be that go-to use case for Glass. 

We’ve provided a few screen shots below to give you a closer look at SousChef.


Josh Boyle
 is Director of Community & Marketing, VentureFizz.  You can follow him on Twitter: @jb_sid

Chef Photo from Shutterstock

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