By: Dani Savin
Meet the innovative minds behind Kitchen Kapital, a dynamic team committed to revolutionizing the financial landscape for small business service owners, particularly in the food industry. Founded by Akito Kashiwai and joined by Alex Saavedra and Jesse Ozdamar, Kitchen Kapital is driven by a powerful mission and vision to democratize access to capital and empower food service entrepreneurs.
Akito Kashiwai’s extensive experience in the fintech industry across various countries sparked a realization – despite the abundance of small businesses in the United States, the financial ecosystem often falls short in providing adequate support. This led to the inception of Kitchen Kapital, driven by a deep desire to make a significant impact in a space where the potential for growth and innovation is high. The team envisions empowering entrepreneurs in the food service industry from a financial standpoint, allowing them to diversify their offering and create unique dining experiences.
The team recognizes the persistent challenges faced by small businesses, especially in food service, when it comes to accessing capital. Traditional lenders often hesitate to provide support, creating a gap between those in need and those willing to invest. Kitchen Kapital aims to bridge this gap by enhancing risk visibility and leveraging alternative credit scoring methods. Their data-driven approach aims to provide reliable insights into the financial health of small food service businesses, making them more attractive to lenders. While other companies offer broad solutions, Kitchen Kapital’s laser focus on food businesses enables them to deeply understand the unique challenges and opportunities within this industry. Their innovative proprietary model for business assessments sets them apart from the competition, enabling them to support a wide array of small businesses with tailored solutions.
Kitchen Kapital’s approach caters to a two-sided market. On one hand, they aim to assist small food service business owners by providing them with accessible capital. On the other, they work to help financial providers better understand the food service industry through data-driven insights, enabling them to make more informed investment decisions.
When asked about why they joined Jumpstart, Akito said, “the MMM Program at Kellogg brought me to Kitchen Kapital’s creation. Jumpstart provides us with invaluable resources and mentorship. Being able to focus wholeheartedly on [Kitchen Kapital] while participating in Jumpstart has offered a supportive environment to nurture our startup, valuable informational sessions and a dedicated workspace to foster growth.”
Kitchen Kapital’s team is poised to make a lasting impact on the financial landscape for small food service businesses. Through their innovative approach, specialized focus, and dedication to bridging gaps, they are working towards a future where food entrepreneurs can thrive and bring diverse culinary experiences to communities across the nation.
Learn more about Kitchen Kapital here!
Dani is an incoming freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying Journalism and RTVF at the The College of Letters and Sciences. Dani joined the team at The Garage to help facilitate the 2023 Jumpstart Pre-Accelerator summer program, working as a key pillar of the community to assist in daily operations and event execution, curate content for digital, print, and video publication, and strengthen community bonds.