FounderDating Success Story: Fresh Canteen

Posted by Jessica Alter /July 30, 2013 / FD Success Stories, Reviews

Matt O’Leary and Steve Hanna are members of FounderDating who successfully matched and founded Fresh Canteen , a Toronto-based meal ingredient delivery service.

Fresh-Canteen-Logo-Final-FD

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELVES.

Steve: I’m a full-stack software developer. I used to work at a software development company, Vortex, but recently quit to focus on FreshCanteen full time.

Matt: I’m what you would call a serial entrepreneur. I’m a product guy with a design background. My last company was Shopcaster, North America’s largest platform connecting real world independent retailers with online shoppers. I got interesting traction and good experience there; I left that to start this.

 WHY DID YOU JOIN FOUNDERDATING?

Matt: I kept hearing about it from people in the social sphere and I was looking for a technical co-founder. I’d heard that FD was great for finding a tech co-founder given that the network is 50% engineers.

Steve: I’d hear that FounderDating was quality and provided a good experience. I figured it was worth trying.

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DATING PROCESS.

Steve: After signing up online, we met at the kickoff event. I’d met several other interesting people online, but Matt and I had very complementary skills and connected pretty quickly.

Matt: While we connected quickly at the event, we didn’t speak very much. I was looking for a full-stack engineer with fire. We messaged each other online first and then took it offline. Our first few interactions were running through ideas and doing some customer discovery interviews. I had a number of people ping me and I connected with 2. They were cool, but it was clear that Steve was the best fit. We decided to go for it.

HOW DID YOU KNOW HE WAS “THE ONE?”

MattAndSteveFC

Matt: “He had me at hello.” [laughs] No really. The best thing we did was stop with the ideation and start building something together as a project to see how we melded. We very quickly realized our skills were complementary and we were on the same page. We meshed. From that point, we began moving very quickly. We went from lunch to business really fast.

Steve: We were really honest about our goals and intentions up front. Matt asked me –  “What will it take for you to quit your job?”

Matt: We were both vetting. I wanted to know – how serious are you? We both wanted to work hard and build something that people loved.  

WHAT ARE CHALLENGES YOU’VE HAD ALONG THE WAY?

Steve: The high-level challenge was finding someone with the same level of work ethic and commitment. Now, we’re married.Matt: 3 yrs ago, it felt impossible to find a cofounder for my last company. It took forever, but it eventually happened. With FD, I was like “wow that was easy.”

TELL ME ABOUT FRESHCANTEEN

We are a meal ingredient delivery service. We ship all of the fresh ingredients you need to have home-cooked meals for dinner. We create exciting, easy-to-follow recipes, with the best possible ingredients and deliver it right to your door. We launched in Toronto June 15, 2013.  

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE TO OTHER ENTREPRENEURS?

Steve: I’d say stop pitching ideas. If I’m trying to find a match and you’re looking for a gun, it won’t work.

Matt: Make sure you have a very candid conversation on date #1. We were looking to hit a home run, not just looking to go to first base. Be upfront about who you are and what you’re looking for. Time is wasted with people faking the funk. You could save a lot of people a lot of time. Going to meetups, people are about pitching ideas and they miss out. People should be more open to exploring new ideas and just working on a project.

I get it if you think you have an amazing idea and want someone to build it. Even if you’ve already done some work for a few months, the co-founding is like a marriage. You’re going 50/50; there’s no prenup in founderdating. Offer me any less than half the co and I want a salary from day one. People should come correct.

I think FounderDating is the future of finding a cofounder. I think you’ll have a lot of amazing companies started from it.


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