Dagda Technologies creates commercial kitchen safety technologies. The first is the FryerGate: an open-bay fryer cover that protects personnel from 350F boiling oil and restaurant owners from potential multimillion dollar lawsuits. The FryerGate automatically opens when the basket goes in, and closes & locks when the basket is taken out. It causes no delays to workflow in fast-food restaurants.
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Management Team: relevant, experienced, driven. Rory Millikin, CEO – previously patent inventor, Founder, & CEO of SpinFry. Rory is a serial entrepreneur specializing in the founding, organiza,onal structuring, ﬁnancing, and managing of innovative technology companies. Previously, he was an Investor and an executive at BioLytical Laboratories, which manufactures the world’s fastest and most disruptive rapid HIV test kit. Rory holds multiple patents. Patrick Hoogendijk, CFO – previously Partner & CFO at Capital E Advisors. Patrick has over 15 years experience in private equity investing and operations. Additionally, he is a seed investor and Angel mentor. Patrick holds an MSc in Chemical Engineering, an MBA from NYU, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). Glenn Baker, VP Engineering – Glenn has over 20 years of development and operational management experience with companies including Nortel, Wind River Systems, and Aastra Telecom, as well as many start‐ups. Through this time, he has developed a proven track record for product development, design, manufacturing, and quality control of hundreds of new products. This list of products includes both hardware and software ‐ consumer and industrial. Tom Theis, VP Design – Tom has over 10 years design and manufacturing experience in commercial restaurant equipment. He was responsible for designing the ﬁrst commercial SpinFry for Pitco (owned by Middleby, Nasdaq: MIDD). Prior to the company being bought by Middleby, Tom was the Design Engineer for Anetsberger Brothers, where he was in charge of fryers, grills, and bakery equipment design, as well as ANSI, CSA, NSF, and EnergyStar compliance.
Dagda Technologies Investor Update (Sept/Oct 2014) The following is the combined September/October newsletter for Dagda. With so much going on in the last couple weeks of October, we thought it best to wait to provide details of all that is happening. The following newsletter covers product updates, SafeLid in- restaurant testing, business meetings and their results, and financials. PRODUCT UPDATE Safelid underwent further tests in preparation for finalizing a commercial design for the Pitco fryer. These tests focused on unit weight, a universal Pitco desgin for both open and split vat fryers,, spring design, material composition to allow the smoothest transition of the basket through the doors into the fryer vat, and weight bearing loads. The overal conclusion from the tests was that the mesh-material doors are not strong enough to meet the daily rigors in a commercial kitchen. We therefore went back to the earlier 3mm hexagon door design. With minor engineering improvements suggested by the restaurant operators, we now have a design that meets all of our criteria. One of the most important design elements was successfully finalized in October: the springs. These determine the fluidity with which an employee can use the SafeLid and ulitmately the elimination of any disruption to the workflow in the kitchen. Lee Springs, one of the largest spring manufacturers in the US, was key in establishing the design. When watching the video link below, taken during our first testing at Pizza Hut Wing Street in Los Angeles, you will notice the baskets now pass through the doors almost effortlessly. In addition, the springs also allow for the doors to spring back with adequate force to easily move them into the locking position. Lee Springs is currently building the jig to begin life- cycle testing which will provide the approximate technological lifetime of the springs. This is a critical question we need to be able to answer with certainty to any potential customer. TESTING UPDATE Video link to SafeLid testing – Pizza Hut Wing Street. Our strategy is to get SafeLid into testing at medium-sized franchisees of large national fastfood chains for a 60-90 day period. Following a successful testing period, we will then approach their corporate chain in unison, with the franchisees support and test results. This will give us the greatest opportunity to get corporate approval to begin larger scale testing which will lead to system-wide orders. Our first test is with SoCal Pizza, one of the largest Pizza Hut Wing Street franchisees in the world with approximately 300 locations in California. We began testing on October 23rd and did a surprise visit on October 29th. We were very pleased to see the SafeLid in use and working extremely well during the peak of the lunch rush. Rory spoke with one of the employees that cooks the wings in the fryer and asked him how he liked the SafeLid. His response was that he felt safer around the fryer, but also that he was not getting the hot oil spray on his hands that he normally did when dropping frozen wings into the hot oil. This is because SafeLid forces the user drop the basket vertically as opposed to thrusting it forward into the oil which causes the oil to splash up against the back of the fryer vat and spray the user’s hands with hot oil. We suspect that this reduction of forward-moving hot oil spray out of the fryer will also reduce the amount of oil that accumulates on the floor in front of the fryer, thereby reducing the dangerous ‘”slips & falls” accidents that are frequent in commercial kitchens. SALES, MARKETING, & DISTRIBUTION Sales efforts in September and October included direct product presentations to key channel partners, aligned with the strategy to launch the sales effort to major chain franchise groups through existing channel partnerships. Franke Resupply meetings were positive and included a product review with the SafeLid sales team. During the week of October 27th, Rory, Wayne, and Janna visited two important contacts in LA. They spent a morning with Fischer Group principals Greg Herron and Rick Winfree., who are MAFSI (Manufactures Agents Food Service Industry) representatives for Middleby. After reviewing the SafeLid form/fit/function and current performance in the Pizza Hut Wing Street test site, they agreed to place 26 SafeLids into testing in three chains in southern California, the most recognized chain being Carl’s JR. They will identify two stores per chain and place the SafeLid on two or three fryers per system. Rory agreed to order the 26 units with a December 12th target delivery. This would give about 60 to 75 days of SafeLid testing at these sites before NAFEM 2015 which is held in Anaheim in February 19- Rory, Wayne, and Janna also met with Larry Lanier, owner of Laschober-Sovich, along with three of his designers to review the SafeLid from a specifier’s perspective. Laschober- Sovich designs commercial kitchens for business industry facilities at Disney, various college campuses, hotels, etc. Not only did they see the need for the SafeLid technology on deep fryers, but also on other kitchen equipment such as kettles, pasta cookers, and re- thermalizers. They committed to specifying SafeLid into their designs as soon as auto- quotes has complete specs and pricing was available. Next, the team will meet with Franklin Machine Products. We have targeted FMP as the channel partner of choice to manage distribution to the independent service community, smaller independent restaurant dealers, and broad-line food/supplies distributors. This meeting should take place in early November. As the team works finalizes the channel strategy the focus will shift to end user product testing for the balance of Q4 2014. KEY PROMOTIONAL EVENTS Wayne attended the annual CFESA (Commercial Food Equipment Servicer’s Association). At the convention, he conducted SafeLid presentations with the largest independent service companies from the Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest. All of the companies confirmed their interest in becoming authorized sales partners with SafeLid pending successful completion of the product testing. These meetings reinforced the team’s strategy to focus efforts on the after sales service providers as the path to end users in all foodservice segments (Quick Service (QSR), Casual dining (CSR), and Independent). SafeLid has secured a booth at the 2015 NRA show and has also applied for the NRA Kitchen’s Innovation Award. SafeLid will also be showcased at NAFEM 2015. FINANCIAL & FUNDRAISING STATUS With approximately $170,000 left in the bank, we are now kicking the second part of Dagda’s fund-raising into a higher gear. It was held on simmer-level while we set up the first set of tests and talked to channel partners in Sept/Oct. Dagda has approximately 3 months of burn-rate left, so we will also be cutting costs where possible. See the financial statements in the following pages. INVESTOR VALUE ADD We are looking for interested Angels to fill out the $1.5 MM round with the final $700,000. Please let us know if you have interested parties. Rory & Patrick will be setting up a roadshow in the first week of December, following Thanksgiving.