MacroFuel: Building a Company at Cornell
MacroFuel, a nutritionally complete meal in drinkable form, was founded Spring 2015 on Cornell’s campus. As explained by CIO Alex Meyers, the mission of the company is to “fuel your life when you are too busy for a well-balanced meal with a quick and affordable alternative”.
From the start, MacroFuel has had strong connections to Cornell. The initial concept was formulated in Professor Ben Daniel’s class, NBA 3000: Entrepreneurship and Private Equity. Gus Rietsema and Max Tave were working on a business plan for the class. As they were conducting their research, they realized they were onto something and MacroFuel was born.
The conclusion of the class was a pitch to local investors, and after a strong reception Gus, now CEO, and Max, now CMO, decided to pursue their idea. The next step was building a team. Through personal relationships, the duo found Charles Lee, a Ph.D. Food Science student at Cornell to lead the design of the MacroFuel formula. With the product development process underway, the team needed help designing a website and building out the tech side. To accomplish this goal, Gus approached Ilan Filonenko and Alex Meyers. Together, they worked on the company’s online presence and prepared for a public launch.
The MacroFuel team was built from personal connections and the Cornell entrepreneurial community, but Gus and Max also found other elements of Cornell’s entrepreneurship network invaluable. As Gus explains, “there are all these resources at Cornell, so if we ever have a question there is someone to answer it or point us in the right direction”. MacroFuel received guidance from many Cornell alumni, students and professors in both business and technical capacities. The diverse talent on campus helped accelerate the growth of the company.
The MacroFuel story will be continued in a second part discussing their public launch and Kickstarter campaign.