(EDITOR’S NOTE: During his presentation at the recent “Tennessee Valley Corridor National Summit,” Phil Oldham, President of Tennessee Tech University, cited two companies started by students as examples of the university’s efforts to develop and perpetuate an entrepreneurial culture. This is an update on one of those two start-ups.)
By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
“How fast time goes by” is the answer we got from Enis Cirak when we asked the Co-Founder of Gigamunch about the most surprising aspect of being an entrepreneur.
It was only at the end of Fall Semester that the Nashvillian who was born in Bosnia crafted a unique arrangement whereby he could be classified as Tennessee Tech University (TTU) co-op student, working for Gigamunch full-time during Spring Semester.
The start-up, which he described as being the Etsy of cooking, is focused on connecting those who enjoy cooking ethnic food with those who enjoy eating those foods, but cannot find ethnic restaurants. We profiled the company in this teknovation.biz post from April.
Over the past seven months, Cirak and the other team members have identified and recruited 25 chefs, qualified those cooks, inspected their kitchens to make sure they met standards, and launched an app in the Apple App Store. Most of the cooks are located in Nashville, but the start-up also considers Cookeville part of its launch area.
“It’s been a wild ride . . . crazy,” Cirak said, explaining Gigamunch currently works “very closely with the cooks to better understand the online ordering experience as a cook and as a customer.”
The result of the testing they have done is a fine-tuning of existing features and the addition of new ones.
“The core features are done,” Cirak says. “We are adding features we want.”
Now, he’s ready to take Gigamunch to the next level.
“We had our first sale last week,” Cirak told us on June 10. “With transactions coming in, we are getting real data.”
Revenue and data will allow Gigamunch to begin approaching angels with a goal of $500,000 in seed monies. The funds would be used to hire two additional people – a marketer and a software engineer – as well as pay for legal costs, grow the base of cooks, and accelerate marketing efforts.
In addition to the 25 cooks already signed-up, Cirak says Gigamunch has 40 who have been interviewed, but their kitchens have not been inspected.
For now, the company will limit its focus to Nashville and Cookeville, but that will change as outside capital is raised and the development of the app ends, at least for now.