Throughout Australia’s COVID-19 lockdowns, an idea was brewing in the kitchens of three BCom alumni. That idea led to the development of ReciMe, a social network application bringing together real home cooks and trusted recipes.
BCom alumni and ReciMe co-founders, Christine Nguyen, Ivy Nguyen and Will Kent are consultants and investment analysts by day, and passionate home cooks by night. During Melbourne’s extended lockdown in 2020, the team found that they were spending more time cooking at home than usual, as were their friends. Sharing photos of their meals with each other, they noticed the lack of a dedicated platform for everyday home cooks.
“On ReciMe, everyday cooks will be able to follow each other and share photos of their cooked meals. Importantly, they will be also be able to share their original and family recipes, which others on the app will be able to recreate. We want to foster a strong sense of community on the app, where cooks of all levels and food from all cultures are embraced, and where recipes are freely shared.”
The application, which launched in November 2021, gives users a platform to confidently post their everyday recipes without the fear of being compared to ‘picture perfect’ meals on existing social media apps and search engines. This authenticity also makes recipes more trustworthy. Although it’s easy to find recipes online, people are more likely to trust recipes from their own networks.
It was these networks and shared love for cooking that brought together the founding team. Meeting through the International Case Competition program, Christine and Will represented the University at case competitions in Vancouver, Oslo and Bangkok. Before competing against the world’s leading business schools, they went through an intensive training program. Covering value propositions, go-to-market strategies, product launches, pitches and more, the program workshops and networks have been fundamental in the development of ReciMe.
Passion for cooking and business runs in the Nguyen family, with Ivy – Christine’s sister – bringing her entrepreneurial mindset to the dinner table. Having taken a breadth subject in entrepreneurship and innovation, she learned the importance of developing a solid business model, validating the business idea, and having an innovative mindset.
“Importantly, while we all love cooking, we’re not necessarily amazing at it – we just really like trying out new recipes and learning new cooking techniques. In our opinion, that was the secret ingredient (pardon the pun) for bringing ReciMe together; as home cooks ourselves, we get that cooking can be fun – but it can also be laborious, tiring, and monotonous. ReciMe is here to bring back the element of fun to cooking!”
Coming from a non-technical background, the team drew on their networks to find three Melbourne-based software engineers who helped develop the app. After repeatedly validating their idea, the co-founders identified the features that would be most important to users and built them into the design.
Reaching 500 users less than 24 hours after launching on the App Store, Christine, Ivy and Will are now turning their attention to scaling the app further and building new features such as Android and web apps, as well as integrations with supermarkets.
ReciMe is currently available to download for free on the App store.