Where did you get the idea for your start-up?
Matteo Ressa. – “What was your earliest memory? Mine, it was magically seeing white powder turn into a playdough texture, and, by simply boiling water, I had my favourite food instantly on the table. One of my first memories was seeing my Italian grandmother prepare fresh pasta. Over the next few years, I began learning the ‘family recipe’, which was created generations before me, taught to my grandmother, then to my father, and finally to me. I grew up believing that food is connection. Spending the majority of my life travelling the globe with a pursuit to explore and discover more, I began to realise that food, education and history are intertwined. Cooking became a non-traditional source of learning for me. Mix this with more formal life experiences, like obtaining a master’s in ICT management, working at Vodafone, and managing tech products at Amazon, I knew it was time to combine my passions: food, culture and technology. This was the beginning of ChefPassport – the first Luxembourg-based cook-tech company connecting foodies, chefs and colleagues worldwide.
From the idea to its realisation, there is only one step… and yet. What triggered your entrepreneurial adventure?
“From the first conception of ChefPassport, I had a clear vision but felt that I needed more support on how to achieve it. Enrolling in the Luxembourg Founder Institute triggered my full-time commitment to investing my ‘life’ into my dream. This is why I left Amazon in March 2019 to pursue ChefPassport full time. After graduating from the Founder Institute in May 2019, I spent the next eight months building partnerships, recruiting talent, and optimising technology, which enabled us to release chefpassport.com in February 2020. Since our release, we have broadened our market to support B2B business, gained seed funding, and, more recently, will launch in Italy this month. The adventure indeed continues.
Do you have any advice to give to those who are still hesitant to get started?
“The best day to start is always yesterday. Do not hesitate, stop procrastinating on your dream. Do it now, then stay the course. Also, it’s very important to share your vision and values along the way. You might feel alone during the journey, then one day, someone will ask to help you, and then more people will approach you on ways to collaborate. Until one day, you’ll get people from around the world applying to your company. I believe the early adopters for ChefPassport were aligned with my vision and values, which helped kick-start our growth.”