Nima Company History
Nima co-founders Shireen Yates and Scott Sundvor have long struggled with various food allergies and sensitivities and were tired of always wondering if food was safe to eat. After meeting at MIT in 2013, they decided to build a company to bring clarity and trust back to the dinner table. Shireen and Scott spent a year researching the market. In this year, they collected 3,000 data points using online surveys from gluten-sensitive consumers to evaluate the sustainability of a business model of providing food testing devices directly to consumers. It was quickly determined, through both survey data and market research, that Shireen’s experience was a pain point shared by millions of people in the U.S. and that the product would be highly desired by consumers.
The team won the audience choice award at the MIT $100K Accelerate competition in 2013 and moved to the Bay Area to raise venture money to launch the company. Nima has since secured an A-round of $10 million and two SBIR grants from NIH. After spending two years developing a proprietary chemistry-based sensor, Nima launched a pre-sale campaign and began shipping orders in Fall 2016.
Shireen, Scott, and the full Nima team are focused on bringing the Nima mission to life.
The Nima team encompasses:
- product to conceive of ideas and determine what problems to solve
- research & development to focus on methods of detection
- engineering team to bring the solution to life
- marketing to connect with our community
- operations to make it all happen
- internal operations to keep us running smoothly
For a full list of team members, please see our team page.
Our Manifesto: Knowledge is delicious
Food is love. It nourishes mind, body, and spirit. Eating together brings us together. Over meals we share our feelings, thoughts, plans, and dreams.
We know that food is essential to health and happiness. But we don’t always know what’s in our food.
And since every body is different, the food that nourishes one person might not work for another. Which, for some of us, can make meals a time of anxiety instead of sustenance.
At Nima, we’re here to remove anxiety from your plate. With tools and information that lets you know if your food is safe for you.
We’re making the unknown, known. Because in the profound and simple act of eating food, worry is one ingredient that doesn’t belong.
And we want a world where everyone feels like they have a place at the table.
Nima enables people to be their healthiest selves by giving them the power to know what’s in their food.
Nima does this by:
- Creating people-friendly products and sensing technologies that identify individual ingredients in food
- Generating and sharing data that tells people whom and what to trust
- Championing and supporting people who care about what they eat
Our Products: What Nima Does
People with food intolerances or sensitivities are anxious about the health repercussions that can follow dining out. Nima is a discreet and portable sensor that currently detects gluten in liquid and solid foods in about two minutes. Sensors for the detection of peanut, milk, and tree nuts are in development.
The sensor combines an electronic sensor with antibody-based detection in a disposable capsule. This process turns a complicated eight-step laboratory food testing process into an easy three steps. Our chemistry incorporates new innovations on speed and sensitivity, and the hardware design allows the device to be smaller and more portable than anything on the market today. Nima also syncs to an app that will record test results and restaurant reviews for future reference and community sharing. We continue to expand sensors using the same technology, with a peanut version planned for late 2017. The current platform consists of: