DC: What is your name, major, and graduation year?
Xu: Brin Xu, Sociology, 2022
DC: Which Dingman Center programs have you been involved with?
Xu: I have been involved in Pitch Dingman competition, Terp Startup Accelerator, Terp Startup Fellows programs.
DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup?
Xu: Fancy & Spicy is a digital culinary platform allowing anyone in the world to share authentic food experiences. We primarily offer online cooking classes, and plan to become a social platform for food lovers.
DC: Now that you’ve won the Pitch Dingman Competition ‘21, what’s next for your company?
Xu: Since we won the Pitch Dingman Competition, we have been working on our scaling initiatives with support from the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. We are moving our company toward the path of sustainability.
DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last six months?
Xu: In the last six months, we redesigned our website to build the foundation for future development, expanded products lines, built a team of 4 top chefs, continued producing attractive social media contents, and honed our value proposition. These efforts have been very rewarding. For example, we have acquired 157 new customers and received revenue about $10,000 so far.
DC: Can you describe your typical day as a business owner?
Xu: My typical day as a business owner is busy and fun. I usually read industry news and emails during my breakfast to catch up information. In the morning, I check our class bookings, billings, and cash flow to make sure things are on track. In the afternoon, I meet up with my customers, chefs, website developer and other stakeholders. Evening is a good time to reflect, and plan work for the next day.
DC: As a business owner, how do you define success?
Xu: As a business owner, I think success is running a profitable company that contributes to social goods. Knowing that I am doing is helping myself and others toward a better and heartier life means a lot to me.
DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be?
Xu: I would advise them to find a supportive community. I have been very lucky to have the Center’s support through the way, otherwise Fancy & Spicy would not be here today. I encourage first-time founders reach out to communities and move forward.
To learn more about Fancy & Spicy, please visit the website here.