Jared Cannon

Biography

School: Fox School of Business
Major: MS in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship, 2016
Company: Simply Good Jars
Title: Founder / CEO

Video: First Cut Jared Cannon Profile

We asked Jared a few questions to learn more about his background and company. Below are his answers.

What is your hometown?

Newark, Delaware

What are your hobbies?

I love getting outdoors hiking, camping. I also play Latin percussion and have been a drummer for 10+years.

What is your favorite food?

simply good jars logo

Korean BBQ

What business stage is your company?
We are generating revenue and have a wait list of over 500 members/partners.

What inspired you to start your own company?

After spending 17 years in the restaurant industry, I saw firsthand how much food is wasted all while knowing that hunger is a real problem. I sought to solve this problem. A huge part of the Simply Good Jars mission is to increase access to healthier food options while creating zero waste and impacting the communities we serve.

Could you provide a personal statement about your entrepreneurial journey and the role that Temple/Fox School of Business may have played in that journey?

My entrepreneurial journey started many years ago, and my time at the Fox School really allowed to me to explore realistic options by building some foundational knowledge/confidence.

More importantly, Temple University and the Fox School opened up so many resources that I was able to take advantage of, including networking events, guest speakers, competitions, Blackstone Launchpad. Every time I attended these events I was able to practice my “pitch,” get feedback, read people’s reactions, ask questions, and build a network of new people which became instrumental in our processes leading up to our official launch.

How has a degree in MS in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship contributed to your success?

My time at Fox has helped me learn the fundamentals of business and business acumen. I now have the knowledge to evaluate the business as a whole and evaluate ways to give back yet still be profitable.

Fox School professor Rob McNamee and I worked diligently on general brainstorming and innovation exploration that has been instrumental in the discovery process. To this day, we have one-off random calls where we throw out ideas and create a dialog around finding the best way to innovate.

What has been your greatest challenge?

Right now, it’s literally meeting our demand. We have a waiting list of over 500 customers. So it’s been about doing what we can without overextending ourselves, executing flawlessly, and building our systems and processes that allow us to grow smart and ensure that all of our subscribers always have an amazing experience each week. Currently we are incentivizing customers on our waiting list to help share our service on their social media channels and once we have 10 subscribers in an extended serviceable area, we are committed to opening up that market for everyone.

What/who has made the greatest positive impact on you throughout this journey?

So the what would be “what not to do” after experiencing tons of mistakes within my 17 year career.
The who is definitely my circle of family and friends that really got behind the concept and believed in me and our company mission. They came in as early investors to get us some operating capital so we could get moving and prove the concept.

What lessons have your learned?

So many lessons… We are making less assumptions and intent on listening to the customer to help drive some decision making and to better meet their needs so that every step of the process is simple and meaningful.

Who is your mentor/idol and why?

Early on—literally around 6 years old—I found my love for cooking by working alongside my grandmother. It was when I was 14 years old that I realized working with food was something I was deeply passionate about. The reality of food is that it always, in every culture, brings people together.

What advice would you give budding entrepreneurs?

You have to dive in. Give as much attention as you can to your product and get out and tell people about it. You will learn so much in terms of getting feedback and ideas that will allow you to pivot slightly as needed. Once you get to the point that people get excited every time they hear about what you are doing and start introducing you to people who could bring value and/or help you out, then quit your job (if you have one) and dive in 100%. That is when the bulk of the “speed-up” happens and it forces you to do things to keep evolving. I stared this business on a $1,000 loan from Kiva.org. It doesn’t take much.

What’s next for you and your business?

We’ve partnered with a local tech company to bring our jars to our customers like never before. We have a few pilot locations currently operating for a/b testing in a co-working space, office suite and fitness/wellness gym. Our future jar delivery method will incorporate AI, biometrics and a personal virtual assistant. We are committed to changing healthy eating in the City of Brotherly Love forever.

Website: https://simplygoodjars.com/