By Anna Lardinois, Startup Storyteller
Food FiXR founder Dr. Grace Hameister is ready to change the way people look at food.
The Doctor of Chiropractic, Functional and Integrative Medicine founded Food FiXR, an “interactive FoodTech and HealthTech platform” that allows users to make informed choices at the grocery store before the items land in their carts, in 2021.
The app will guide shoppers to find “non-toxic, body optimizing, disease-healing foods” and allow them to purchase the food directly from the local grocery store through the app.
Ahead of the anticipated second quarter release of its MVP, the company made its national debut earlier this year.
At the urging of fellow startup founder Stephanie Hoskins of Debtle, Hameister applied to have the opportunity to pitch her company at the Midwest House Madness pitch competition held at South by Southwest on March 11. Out of thousands of applicants, the company was voted to represent Wisconsin in the competition as one of the Elite 8.
Hameister, along with winners from seven other Midwestern states, were flown to the annual conference to pitch their companies to festival attendees.
“It was really rushed and crazy,” she said. “Honestly, the whole thing happened within three weeks. From the time that I put my application in, to the time I was actually in Austin, it was about a three-week period of time. I didn’t realize how fast it was all happening.”
The whirlwind experience allowed her to rub elbows with startup ecosystem superstars, like gener8tor founders Troy Vosseller and Joe Kirgues, as well as Kickstarter CEO Everette Taylor.
Hameister did not nab the top spot in the competition, but still considers the experience a win.
“I was able to get in front of investors that I’ve never met before. A whole different score of people that I never would have been in front of had I not gone. The way I look at stuff like this, no matter what, it honed my skills and (next time I pitch) I’ll win because I have that much more experience, that much more knowledge of what’s necessary,” she explained.
“Every single time I get my face in front of somebody” she continued, “it just gives us that much more leverage for how important this work is and for how needed it is. It just inspires me more than anything to keep going because people really need what I’m doing.”
Pitch contests aren’t the only wins Food FiXR has been racking up.
Hameister turned the sudden loss of her Vice President of Technology into a win that has accelerated the release of the company’s minimum viable product (MVP).
Using the Global Accelerator Network (GAN) credits she earned for her successful completion of the gBETA program, Hameister was able to replace her employee with technical support from Suggestic, a company offering software development for companies in the medical sector.
The move not only saved money, but also dramatically increased the number of people working on the Food FiXR app. “Not only will I have an MVP, but I’m expecting to have revenue by June,” she said.
To prepare the market for her technology, Hameister will soon launch a series of educational workshops to educate the community on the connection between food and overall health.
“I’m so passionate about this because you can’t unsee the work that is real when you’re in the trenches and helping people,” she said. That’s why Food FiXR is so important to me,” she said.
“These are small classes from anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes where I show people how to read a label, what nutrients are the best ones for your heart, what kind of chocolate should you choose so that you have better probiotics and prebiotics. By doing so I’ll be able to show that we are at the forefront of solutions for social determinants of health in education and in preventing diet related disease,” Hameister said.
“I’m putting my money where my mouth is, with my own skills. I’m getting out in the community and showing every person who’s ever asked me why this is valid and how it’s valid,” she said.
“I can show them with our own community here in Milwaukee, how we can have an impact on diet related disease through education,” she continued. “That’s what Food FiXR is all about. That’s what this app does. That’s what the company does, and that’s what I’m doubling down on with my own skills as a doctor because that’s what I can do. I don’t write code, but I can change someone’s life.”
To learn more about Food FiXR, connect with them here.