In the video below, TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha talks to chef Roy Yamaguchi and investor Dave McClure about food and tech at the “Aloha Friday” event hosted by McClure’s 500 Startups incubator and early-stage investment firm.
Chef Yamaguchi, founder of Hawaii-based Roy’s and co-organizer of the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, admits that he is still just “getting his fingers wet” with tech, but sees a huge opportunity to use it to connect with his customers. Yamaguchi using tech to broaden his goals of making Hawaii’s food more sustainable and bringing more international travel to Hawaii.
McClure has invested in 10-12 food tech startups including E La Carte, Farmeron and Craft Coffee. 500 Startups looks “for companies that have a really simple revenue model and provide innovation in areas that are maybe less tech- and innovation-centric and just a regular use case,” he said, hence their interest in food. “Turns out that food is a very big business. It’s a high frequency business. A small bit of innovation goes a long way in really disrupting the opportunities,” he later continued.
Last year, McClure spoke on a panel at the festival about food and tech, which is where he and Yamaguchi initially met. This year McClure will be returning with his food startups to launch a full food tech track at the festival.