When it came to bagels, Aimee Yang felt like she only had two unappealing options.
Yang explained that if she were to eat a bagel, she’d rue having consumed a food loaded with calories and refined carbohydrates. If not, she’d be upset at having to pass on one of her favorite things to eat.
What if, she pondered, it were possible to create a bagel with traditional taste and texture but that contained significantly less carbohydrates, sugar and calories? Finding the answer would cost $1 million and took an incredible stroke of luck, but Yang eventually identified what might be described as the holy grail of food tech.
Her company, BetterBrand, touts a process described as “grain-changing technology” to create a bagel that has the same amount of net carbs as two banana slices, the same sugar content as a celery stalk, and the same amount of protein as four eggs. The product is aptly called BetterBagel.
The breakthrough technology has helped BetterBrand attract significant attention among mainstream and trade media and also land several high-profile investors. Last year, the company closed on $2.5 million in new capital in a round led by Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six fund. BetterBrand has also attracted investment from actress Emmy Rossum, actor Patrick Schwarzenegger and Sean Thomas,the grandson of Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas.
In an interview featured in this episode, Yang spoke about how she analyzed the opportunity to create a better-for-you bagel, why raising her first $1 million was both remarkable and lamentable and the rationale for launching BetterBagel last year. She also discussed the fortuitous way she met several investors, what she wanted to convey in branding and package design and why she embraces constant iteration.
In this Episode
|0:51: Aimee Yang, Founder & CEO, Better Brand – Taste Radio editor Ray Latif and Yang discussed their favorite bagel toppings (they were divided on one), how she broke a funding record among sole female founders and her roots in entrepreneurship, which began with “childhood loan sharking.” She also explained why the idea for BetterBrand was “one of one,” when she knew the company’s technology was commercially scaleable and why she was initially hesitant to accept outside investment beyond the pre-seed round. Later, she discussed the rationale for buying the company’s URL, how Alexis Ohanian encouraged her to adopt a “software mindset” as it relates to brand and product evolution and why the notion that “everything is possible” is key to BetterBrand’s mission and communication strategy.|