2023 Most Disruptive MBA Startups: Rescale, Dartmouth College (Tuck)


Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth

Industry: Technology/Supply Chain

Founding Student Name(s): Julia Megson

Brief Description of Solution: Marketplaces that match food brands with food manufacturers

Funding Dollars: $2,500,000

What led you to launch this venture? I’ve been working in the food supply chain for 10-plus years, including as director of operations at Trader Joe’s where I visited more than 100 manufacturing facilities that produce beloved TJ’s branded products. I’ve seen friction at almost every point in the food supply chain, but the story for Rescale became clear as I talked to dozens of food & beverage brands in my first year at Tuck: finding the right manufacturing partner is brutal.

What has been your biggest accomplishment so far with venture? Definitely what I managed to pull off last spring. I wrapped my classes up six weeks early, closed our first pilot customer, brought in angel funding, and welcomed my second child all at the same time.

What has been the most significant challenge you’ve faced in creating your company and how did you solve it?
When I started exploring this idea two years ago, I felt that a “warehouse finder” instead of a “manufacturing finder” was the right problem to solve. I brought together a group of five Tuck students (Kartik Gulati, Will Indvik, Rhea Chandra, Calvin Garay, and Kakeru Tsubota) to work on the project with me. After getting in the weeds on customer discovery, they pushed me to reconsider. Within eight weeks, we pivoted the business, rebuilt the business model from the ground up, and ended up winning the Magnuson-Dartmouth pitch competition with the new idea.

How has your MBA program helped you further this startup venture? I’ve toyed with other business ideas before Tuck—one going as far as 20K in revenue, and another falling apart after many, many hours of customer discovery. Tuck provided a finite space for exploration with no downside; I’d either try, pivot, and fail on repeat, and eventually get a job, or, maybe, I’d walk away running a company I felt compelled to build.

At the end of either path, I knew Tuck would provide the structure (courses, clubs, Centers) and network (peers, professors, advisors) I needed to grow consistently and build momentum.

What founder or entrepreneur inspired you to start your own entrepreneurial journey? How did he or she prove motivational to you?  My brother, Will Megson, has been my biggest cheerleader and motivator. He started a company in 2019 that went through Y Combinator and was acquired by Stripe. He felt unshakably confident that I could do it, and his certainty has been infectious.

Which MBA class has been most valuable in building your startup and what was the biggest lesson you gained from it? Professor Jim Feuille’s Venture Capital Workshop was transformative for me. He brought in entrepreneurs to pitch their venture, and we acted as VCs. We conducted due diligence with the founder, dissected their business model, go-to-market, and traction, wrote an investment memo, and then pitched the deal to our “firm” (made up of real VCs Jim convinced to take time out of their busy schedules to help us learn). This class inadvertently taught me how to pitch, examine industry traction expectations, and understand what the dynamics from the other side of the investment table really look like. I also learned that VC funding is a very specific niche of business funding—you have to fit within the target goals of the investors you bring onboard.

What professor made a significant contribution to your plans and why? Daniella Reichstetter. Even before I arrived in Hanover, I put time on Daniella’s calendar to discuss my idea. At the time, I was struggling with how to translate the problem into a business model. She brought clarity in a 30-minute meeting. I was stunned. Her impact has only amplified over time.

How has your local startup ecosystem contributed to your venture’s development and success?
In my first year I made it into a Dartmouth-wide pitch competition and, to my surprise, I won. The cash prize was impactful, but the competition made me hyper aware of the power of the Tuck network. Geoff Ralston (former YC president) was one of the judges, and the competition was sponsored by Jeff Crowe (Norwest Ventures). Access to their time, attention, and feedback on my early-stage idea would have been impossible without Dartmouth.

What is your long-term goal with your startup? To make the food supply chain more transparent and accessible for food entrepreneurs.


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