Entrepreneurial whiz Sophie Gechijian started her company, f(x) foods, in 2018, when she noticed a lack of nutritious snacks at her full-time job at Fidelity Investments. This began Gechijian’s journey of trying to concoct a granola bar that could be healthy and taste amazing at the same time. She spent many nights and weekends researching the best combination of ingredients, and thus f(x) foods’ “Brain Food” and “Heart Food” granola bars were born.
During the early stages of her company, Sophie Gechijian was looking for a rapid expansion of f(x) foods, which is where she found IDEA. She recalled hearing about the student-run venture accelerator during her time as an undergraduate at Northeastern University, which propelled her to attend one of IDEA’s New Venture Information Sessions. Curious about the resources IDEA offered, Gechijian realized the organization could help her company with legal and monetary matters.
Throughout the 3 Stages of the IDEA process (Ready, Set, Go), Gechijian says, “pitching for funding would be the most tangible lesson that I learned.” She stated that IDEA prepared her to articulate her business in a concise presentation and manner, know the company’s financials, and be prepared to answer difficult questions from investors.
Further down the road, Gechijian would win two rounds of Gap Funding, which is a non-equity educational grant licensed to some ventures in the GO stage of IDEA’s process. This allowed her to scale the production of her product. She went from making her granola bars in her home kitchen to outsourcing her company’s production out of a commercial kitchen. The distribution of f(x) foods granola bars have gone from being sold as individual bars to now selling thousands of units per month.
Aside from expanding her inventory production and sales, Gechijian was able to get trademark assistance, redesign the company logo, as well as, set up eCommerce distribution for f(x) foods. This revamp was done through the IDEA program and MOSAIC resources such as Scout and IP CO-LAB. Scout is a Northeastern student-led design studio that provides an array of design work and IP CO-LAB is a group led by Northeastern law students, as well as, faculty that provides IP-related information and services to ventures.
When asked what are some of the most important lessons she learned as an entrepreneur through the IDEA process, Gechijian referred to mindset. She stated, “no matter if you have a bad day today, it probably means tomorrow will be a good day.” Gechijian mentioned how “there are always going to be things that are out of your control [such as] timelines, production schedules, delivery dates, and customer demands,” but you must adjust and get comfortable with those obstacles in order to be successful.
Success in Northeastern’s IDEA program would be defined as going from a simple idea to manifesting into a real business with longevity according to Gechijian, which she has more than lived up to. f(x) foods has now been operating for over a year and a half, bolstering sales every month. The future of Sophie Gechijian and f(x) foods looks bright with them looking to enter grocery stores, place products on online retailers such as Amazon, and eventually become a global, national brand.
If you are interested in getting involved with IDEA or learning more about us, please visit this page and sign up for the next New Venture Information Session!