Fyood Kitchen, a Portland startup that organizes amateur cooking competitions, won the Big Gig business pitch contest a few weeks ago in Orono.
Fyood Kitchen is currently running beta-test events at Fork Food Lab in Portland in anticipation of launching a Kickstarter campaign and public launch in early 2017, according to Maddie Purcell, the company’s founder. Purcell describes the cooking competitions as “Iron Chef-meets-Paint Nite events for Maine’s fun-loving, adventurous foodies.”
Though the company is only three months old, the traction Purcell has gained already has her thinking about how to expand Fyood Kitchen as a brand outside of Maine.
“We’re looking to put on additional events in several other markets in the next couple months, and plan to expand outside the state following a successful Maine launch,” Purcell told MSI.
For winning the Big Gig event, which was held at University Credit Union in Orono on Nov. 15, Purcell received $250 and the chance to compete in the final event early next year and the chance to win the $1,500 grand prize.
“I was grateful for the opportunity to connect with the Bangor-area startup community at the Big Gig event in a fun and constructive environment,” Purcell said. “Due to the novelty of Fyood Kitchen’s model, it was very helpful to get fresh feedback on which aspects I should clarify further moving forward.”
She plans to use the prize money to put on a Fyood Kitchen event in Bangor later this winter.
Purcell has nine years of experience in event management, and four years experience in food-related businesses.
Fyood Kitchen also in November received a marketing mini grant from New Ventures Maine in a pitch competition the week before the Big Gig. The grants of up to $400 are to support the marketing efforts of small businesses.