This Crazy Awesome Gadget Will Change Your Kitchen Forever
The smartest thing you have in your kitchen right now might be your kiddo’s A+ paper on the fridge, the genius chore chart that actually inspired your roommate to buy toilet paper on time, maaaaybe a battery-operated pepper grinder from last year’s White Elephant win. Today, there’s a new IoT innovation that’s going to inspire you to take your kitchen gadget game from George Foreman to George Jetson status. Smart home shoppers, meet June, a computer-based, app-connected countertop oven that wants to brown your bagels in the morning, cook steak the way you love it every time and text you when your perfectly-baked batch of cookies is ready.
The people behind June Intelligent Oven are a pretty impressive bunch with resumes that read like the home screen on your smartphone. But that’s the kind of brainpower you need when crafting an Internet-connected, pro-grade piece of kitchen equipment that boasts a quad-core processor, a built-in camera (that, you know, won’t melt) and sensors that can detect what kind of food you place into it.
Tucked away in a pretty Victorian home in San Francisco — not exactly the Silicon Valley frat house you’ve seen while using your parent’s HBOGo password — are the unsuspecting June offices. The small startup wanted a real kitchen (like the one co-founders Matt Van Horn and Nikhil Bhogal came up with the idea for June in) to perform their tasty beta testing and prototyping. As you pass engineers, designers and a fellow journalist or two in the homey hallways of their space, the smell of chocolate chip cookies baked to perfection by June makes it clear that these guys knew what they were up to.
A mutual love of cooking and food is part of what brought Van Horn and Bhogal together to create June, but it was also the lack of innovation they saw when they looked around the kitchen. Especially compared to Betty Draper’s setup. “Watching Mad Men and the kitchens on there, they’re almost identical to our kitchens today,” Van Horn points out. “But everything’s been changing — technology has been changing, Nest has happened, Apple’s HomeKit has happened. So we set on this journey to make the best home oven the world has ever seen.”
Design-wise, the sleek cube will remind anyone on the tech beat of a good-looking crowdfunded 3D countertop printer, which is to say June is crafted to look at home sidled up to your Sodastream or in place of your microwave. Although it’s a compact appliance (see: countertop), you could fit a 12-pound bird or a 12” pizza into its 1.0 cubic foot. And when you do, expect each slice to have a crispy crust and melted cheese and be better than Digiorno because the co can name Michelin star chef Michael Minna as one of their advisors who gave them the analog advice their digital product needed.
“When we first met with him, he said there are two things that really matter,” Van Horn recounts of their initial meeting with Chef Minna. “You guys understand technology and mobile and you’ll do a lot of incredible things there, but in reality two things really matter: is the food great? And, is it easy to clean?”
Using tech know-all and sage advice from a top chef, the company crafted an oven engineered for precision heating that boasts “serious thermodynamics” that are “like cruise control on your car.” June knows what you’re cooking and uses sensors and a core temperature probe to know exactly how to cook it faster, more efficiently and (thanks, Michael) to its most delicious degree. The oven understands that you just put a steak in, the touchscreen panel on the front asks you how you like your steak, the connected app will let you watch it from the embedded cameras and your smartphone will buzz you when dinner is ready. Smart indeed.
As someone who lives in your average big city small studio with college dorm-size appliances, June is a dream sub for the microwave I rely on and the oven I neglect. I could also see how my mother, the OG homemaker in Upstate NY would welcome June with open, oven mitt-ed arms. Especially if the next iteration comes in a color that would complement her KitchenAid mixer.
With just-announced funding on their side, there won’t be a crowdfunding campaign to wait for, but you can put money down to reserve one of the first Junes scheduled to ship spring 2016. A $95 deposit will dib your smart oven, which will go for $1495 if you reserve in the next 30 days. After that, the MSRP is $2,995 so we’re talking about a bit more of an investment than the George Foreman we name dropped above, but a worthy gamechanger for your future kitchen.
What’s the smartest thing in your kitchen right now? Would you make room for June? Share below!
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
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Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.