Two weeks at MIT, fears and excitement!

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It’s 5am in the morning in Chicago but my body is still on Seattle time, so it’s basically 3am. I am at the airport waiting for a connecting flight that will bring me to Boston then Cambridge-MIT area for about two weeks. My suitcase is full of many different kind of flours. I’m wondering what would happen and if a cop stops me and I’ll have to explain what am I doing with so much white powder! I still cannot believe that dueminuti is doing so well that is participating to two start up competitions at MIT.

We started to talk about a pasta restaurant three years ago. We first planned to open in Melbourne, Australia. Davide was working in Sydney and I was still a PhD candidate in Nuclear Engineering in Beijing. Right, Nuclear Engineering! During all my studies MIT has been a reference point as for almost all the engineers in the world and I was no exception. When I was evaluating schools for my PhD I considered MIT carefully, as some of my fellow colleagues went there. I met students and professors and I almost got admitted, but I did not want it enough (and they did not want me as well!) so I ended up in China at Tsinghua University. And now, a few years later, I am finally coming not as a student, but as a part of the innovation that permeated that environment!

Our company received a lot of great feedback and some of the industry leaders we’ve met have shown a great deal of interest in our idea. We are competing against some of the most brilliant student startups in the US for 100K of funding, crazy stuff. When we feel the pressure of living up to such high expectations we tell ourselves:We are MIT’s first pasta start up! This has already been a success for us and no matter how these competitions will go, we’re energized to make this healthy pasta company true.

Davide has been amazing and organized so many things for us: focus groups to refine our products, groups of students working on our branding and strategy, meetings with possible mentors and advisors. I could not have a better partner, when it comes on how to play the cards that he receive in a hand he never miss a good call. I am going to learn a lot. I am going to work with smart people, smarter than me and even more prepared. Some of them will expect me to provide guidance, leadership and motivation… When it comes to creating expectation Davide is unfortunately a master so I am a little concerned of what this bright people will expect from me. It will be a hell of a two weeks!

I am ready not to sleep much, to cook a lot and to collect as much sincere feedback as possible. There is still a long way to go for our venture but I am sure over the next couple weeks we’ll move a few steps in the right direction!

Filippo

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