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Alex TenBarge
Jun 26, 2018

Day 22: What's Cooking Weekend pt. 4





Taking a red-eye flight out of San Diego, I arrived at JFK airport in New York City. I started the flight watching "2001: A Space Odyssey", but within a couple of minutes I passed out for the majority of the trip. These kind of flights are my favorite. I woke up at my destination with the whole day still ahead of me. Leaving JFK at 5:30, I took an uber to the Bronx. I fell asleep again in the uber… The reason I had to fly home Saturday night into Sunday was because I had a meeting with our advisor who we refer to as TK. TK is a very special person to us, for the way we met him was a bit insane. One day walking back from an interview across campus, I saw a man asking for directions from the security guard. He asked where Duane library was several times and the security guard was having trouble giving him accurate directions. I interrupted their conversation telling the man I knew right where Duane was and in fact it’s on the way towards my destination. The man was grateful for my help and we started to walk across campus. He had foreign accent, one of Asian decent. We walked and talked then he asked me how I was liking Fordham. I erupted, telling him how much I love the school and what it offers to its students. I even mentioned the fact that I started a company with some friends called “What’s Cooking.” He seemed impressed and asked more about it. I continued to talk to him about it and by the time we reached Duane he was really interested. He then gave me his card saying if we’d like to talk more about the company give him a call. So… we did. Within an hour of that interaction I got Joe, Liam and I to meet at Duane to talk to him. He introduced himself as TK. He told us a little about himself. Graduating from Berkeley, TK was at the forefront of the tech startup era in the 2000’s. He told us he worked with Facebook as it emerged, worked with Samsung, and coordinated the partnership between Samsung and Google. He and his friends from Berkeley have become entrepreneurs over the years and invest in new companies. He told us that he likes to do social work now through entrepreneurship. He has several programs in China and Korea that consults poorer students and helps them get into the top US schools. TK is really quite the guy, Joe and I will be writing more about him shortly. Anyway, after months of this interaction, we organized a meeting the day after our San Diego pitch. He is only in the states for a couple of weeks per year and the few days he had free overlapped with our San Diego pitch. Well, I hustled back to NYC and we soon found ourselves together at a Le Pain Quotidien in Manhattan . We had an amazing talk. He told me about some companies he’s been helping and what trends he’s been seeing in the food market across the world. I shared how our pitch went and he was shocked how we’ve already made it out to the west coast to pitch. We talked about aspects of What’s Cooking and what we should be improving upon amongst its platform. I swear every time I talk with TK, my belief in What’s Cooking’s success gets reassured. Overall, we had a great time and we got to catch up with one another which is always good. I have some new goals for What’s Cooking and I’m excited to proceed with them this summer. Here’s a picture of us, TK, you’re the man.






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