This startup is using math to help you find your new favorite wine
Wisconsin might be known as the home of cheese and breweries, but one start up is also hoping to make it well-known for another beverage: wine.
And they're planning to do it with simple math. In fact, their premise is to use an algorithm to pair people's taste buds with their ideal wine bottle match.
Best Cellars, which was founded in Boston, Massachusetts by Richard Yau, uses a seven-question taste test that matches each person's palette and preferences with a specific wine that the company partners with, whether it be a bottle from the states or from Chile.
Yau graduated from MIT and was taking a culinary class after graduation (while simultaneously working at a tech startup) when he came up with the idea for the company:
"We would taste a dozen wines a class and we'd be talking about 'hey, what is the level of acidity? What's the level of body? Alcohol percentage? [We thought that] we might be able to quantify some of these things and learn something about people's preferences."
And he was right.
The most popular types of wine and where they come from:
Yau and his co-founder developed a formula that seeks to find the ideal wine suited for a person's tastebuds.
After beginning by renting a small office in Boston (with only three total employees), Bright Cellars moved to Milwaukee to become a part of Generator, a company that houses small startups in their earliest stages.
After the entrepreneurs finish a 12-week course in partnership with The University of Wisconsin-Madison, the startups are provided space in Generator's Milwaukee location.
Bright Cellars accepted an investment package from Generator after completing the 12-week course and decided to stay in their Milwaukee office.
Yau saw the move to Milwaukee as advantageous:
"[We thought that] we can be, sort of, part of the entrepreneurship movement here in Milwaukee...where it's not as developed, but is developing."
Bright Cellars has grown from three to 17 employees in its first years and from 20 monthly subscribers to nearly 7K.
The subscription service allows consumers to buy wine from wineries that partner with Bright Cellars.
Yau has high hopes for the future growth of Bright Cellars and the wine industry as a whole.
"Wine is interesting because I think we can help do for the wine industry what's happened in the beer industry."
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