With Tappecue, KC startup aims to help grillers keep tabs on meat
In a city known for its barbecue, one startup is out to make the the process of preparing that grilled meat a little easier.
Kansas City-based Innovating Solutions recently introduced Tappecue, a gadget that lets people use web-connected devices to remotely monitor what they're grilling. The company showcased Tappecue at the World Series of Barbecue earlier this month and launched a Kickstarter campaign for it the same weekend.
As Tappecue's Kickstarter video (above) illustrates, the device uses probes to measure the temperature of meat and grills. By tapping into the nearest wifi network, Tappecue transmits that data to the griller's web-enabled device. Tappecue lets users set limits on their cooking sessions (left) and receive push notifications when time or temperature limits are exceeded.
Tappecue is up against established competition like iGrill and others, but Innovating Solutions co-founder Aniruddha Shukla said his device enjoyed a "very good" reception during the World Series of Barbecue, with local barbecue joint Smokin Sons BBQ Cafe volunteering to become a beta tester.
Co-founded by Shukla and Gina Bourret, Innovating Solutions was established in 2010 as a consulting shop. Since then, the company has delved into building apps and products, including Innodocx and AutoCorrect Switch, which SPN covered in December.
Shukla and Bourret both work on the startup full-time, and Jake Bourret and Rahul Paropkari pitch in a part-time basis. Chris Marks, who's an award-winning barbecue chef and works with barbecue catering company Three Little Pigs and barbecue equipment company Ace of Hearts, first conceived of the idea for Tappecue and has worked closely with Innovating Solutions on the project.
Shukla said if Tappecue meets its Kickstarter goal of raising $50,000 by Nov. 9 — as of Oct. 17, the campaign has raised $1,895 from 21 backers — the first batch of Tappecues will be shipped in March 2013.
The early bird price for the device through Kickstarter is $169.99 with two probes and $179.99 with four probes. If the Kickstarter campaign is successful, Innovating Solutions hopes to keep Tappecue's retail cost under $200.00 with four probes. Mobile app and cloud services would be free.
For more on Tappecue and the team behind it, see the video above.