March 13, 2012
Last month we covered StartupBus, an invitation-only hackathon whereby small teams of hackers and hustlers go from concept to creation during the three day transit from various cities across the country to this year’s SXSWi in Austin, TX. On Sunday, the field of more than 50 teams were narrowed down to eight. Just moments ago, Cerealize was announced as the overall winner amongst a panel of high profile judges including Naval Ravikant, Christine Herron, David Cohen, Robert Scoble, and Katie Rae.
The Silicon Valley based team is taking customization to a new extreme, letting users create their own highly personalized 16 oz box of cereal. It’s both straightforward and fun:
- Pick your base cereal(s): including whole grain O’s, corn flakes, or my personal favorite, mini-cookies
- Choose your extras: including almonds, blueberries, yogurt covered raisins, and bacon – seriously
- Name your cereal: look for the Tech Cocktail Mix-o-licious coming soon
That’s it. Your Saturday mornings will never be the same.
I caught up with the very excited Nicolas Grenié, one of the members of the victorious team, to learn more about the process behind creating Cerealize.
Tech Cocktail: What was the inspiration behind creating Cerealize?
Nicholas Grenié: As is the case with anyone living on a tight budget, we love cereal. We buy thousands of boxes. We mix with other cereals and other ingredients you can’t readily find in cereal. Eventually, it becomes an issue of space. We wanted to create a product where you could get everything you wanted into one box. Additionally, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to customize your own cereal. The idea was a no-brainer for us.
Tech Cocktail: How did you decide on the “extra stuff” ingredients? Specifically, how did bacon enter into the equation?
Grenié: One of our team members used to be a chef, which gives us some justification for including that – but mostly we had a lot of fun just trying to mix cool stuff together. I’ve tried it. Believe it or not, it was great.
Tech Cocktail: What was the culture like on the StartupBus?
Grenié: It was super cool. I had an amazing time. Living on the bus and spending that much time with the team was a lot of fun. Although we had eleven people on our team, all of us were busy the entire time. It was special to watch everything come together.
But most of all, it was fun. For us it was a game. You grow close in a short period of time, and we all became friends. We’re excited to get back to the Valley and get back to work!
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