Pilotworks: The Next Great Food Company

Nick Devane & Mike Dee

 

While my blogging slowed over the last little while, the pace of investments I was part of at Techstars certainly didn’t. One of the companies I’m most excited about is Pilotworks (Techstars NYC 2015) which we co-led their $13M Series A last fall and I now serve on their board of directors. Founders Nick Devane & Mike Dee (recently recognized in Forbes 30 under 30 – 2018) have set out to make it easier for food entrepreneurs to launch a new business, whether that’s opening a new restaurant, launch a catering company, or creating the next great new healthy snack food. Fast Company did a nice piece on them here. I’ve known Mike and Nick since before they started Pilotworks and they’re the type of entrepreneurs I dream of working with. They lead by example, aren’t afraid to do the hard work themselves, are maniacally focused on their customer’s experience, and are obsessed with solving a big problem – helping food entrepreneurs bring new products to market. They embody the same give-first values and mentorship-driven approach for food entrepreneurs that we cherish at Techstars and I’m thrilled to be involved.

Already up an running in their flagship Brooklyn space, Pilotworks also has kitchens in Newark, Portland (ME) & Providence and will be opening shortly in Newark, Chicago & Dallas with plans to expand rapidly thereafter.

An added bonus for me is being able to work alongside Lucas Mann on the board. Lucas is a partner at Acre Venture Partners, arguably the top venture firm focused exclusively on the investing in the future of food. Lucas brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the company that’s hard to match, but what I appreciate most about him is his level-headed, no-bullshit approach and most of all his sense of humor, which has helped foster a very special board dynamic. In a short time, Nick, Mike, Lucas and I have created an environment of genuine care for and trust in each other, something which I know will pay off in spades over time.

 

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