Cornell Startup Rosie Experiences Rapid Growth
3/12/2013 12:00:00 AM
Fast, Smart, Convenient Online App Revolutionizes Grocery Shopping Experience
One of the fastest growing startups to come out of the Cornell entrepreneurship community in recent years is Rosie. Rosie predicts the household items you need before you run out, and enables you to order them at the lowest price from local grocers and online retailers. Rosie aims to transform the over $550 billion a year industry for groceries and household goods by using predictive analytics, customized on an individual user basis. In other words, it is building software that will learn what you have in your kitchen, what items you like to buy for your household, and not only remind you when you’re running low, but offer to buy it for you from the lowest cost provider in your area.
“We’re not trying to simply put the grocery store online” said Jon Ambrose, COO and Co- Founder. “We’re integrating intelligence into every aspect of our application, and that allows us to provide a better and more enjoyable customer experience at every step.”
Customers use Rosie on their mobile phones or through rosieapp.com. When users log in to the application it displays all the items it thinks they need, based on their demographic information and past purchasing behavior. Users quickly select the items they want off the recommended items list or click through “Dynamic Aisles” which reorganize the online grocery store to logically fulfill user’s orders (i.e. Searching “breakfast” returns an aisle including eggs, juice, bacon, pancakes, etc.). If you live in a major city that has grocery delivery services, Rosie routes your order to the lowest cost provider of the goods you selected for delivery or in-store pickup.
Rosie launched its beta account sign-up to the public on December 4th and had over 750 signups in its first week. Rosie’s official launch is scheduled for Q1 2013 with a local Ithaca supermarket and will be available to Cornell University, Ithaca College, and the rest of the Ithaca community.
Rosie has received recognition in several entrepreneurship competitions. Rosie was a finalist of Startup Weekend Cornell (www.cornell.startupweekend.org), a 54-hour event where entrepreneurs come together to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch startups. The company won 2nd place at the annual Cornell Elevator Pitch Competition. Over 50 applications were submitted and 15 presentations were delivered in the finals. In addition, the firm was selected as a finalist at 3 Day Startup Cornell 2012 (http://cornell.3daystartup.org/), an entrepreneurship education program designed for university students with an emphasis on learning by doing. Rosie is an eLab company (www.elabstartup.com). The eLab is Cornell’s prestigious and highly competitive incubator whose mission is to accelerate the development of Cornell’s top entrepreneurs. Finally, Rosie was selected as one of five finalists in the $350,000 Startup Labs Syracuse business competition (http://www.thetechgarden.com/programs/startup-labs/). Over 96 companies applied to this extremely competitive accelerator program.
Rosie has grown exponentially since it was founded just a few months ago, and is now the largest student startup at Cornell. Its diverse team includes 16 undergraduate and graduate students across multiple disciplines including Applied Economics and Management, Business, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, and Information Science. Additionally, the company hired 8 interns to work over the winter break period and will host a full time summer internship program as well. The company is led by co-founders Nick Nickitas, CEO (MBA ’14), Jon Ambrose COO (MBA ’14), and Michael Ryzewic, CTO, (B.A. ‘06/B.Sc. ’07, Columbia University). The team building Rosie has experience across all aspects of the online and mobile software development lifecycle, spanning multiple technologies and platforms.
“Rosie is a revolutionary and magical product that will save customers time, money, and stress by predicting the household items they need before they run out, at the lowest price from local grocers and online retailers,” said Nick Nickitas, Rosie's CEO. “Predictive shopping continues to prove its potential as a game-changer, and Team Rosie is proud to be advancing this innovative technology."
Rosie’s Business Development team promoting the company’s launch on campus
Members of Rosie’s development team at the on-campus hackathon sponsored by eBay in November
Peter Blanco, Lead iOS Developer and Mike Ryzewic, CTO, work on the Rosie iPhone app
Nick Nickitas, CEO, presents Rosie to the judges and crowd at 3DS Cornell
Rosie employees at the company’s weekly status meeting