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Matt Salzberg, born in Edison, New Jersey, is the CEO and co-founder of Blue Apron, a meal subscription service that delivers pre-measured ingredients and recipes.
While attending Harvard, Salzberg was on the Board of Directors of the Harvard Student Agencies (HSA) and won Manager of the Year for running the HSA laundry service. He graduated from summa cum laude with a BA in economics in 2005 and an MBA in 2010.
Salzberg was a private equity analyst at The Blackstone Group, evaluating and executing a $20 billion leveraged buyout fund until 2008. He later worked at Bessemer Venture Partners investing in mobile, software and digital startups.
In 2009, Salzberg and Nick Tommarello, co-founded Stamp Mobile, an iPhone based point-of-purchase loyalty program. After launching the product within two months and with $5000, the project failed. Tommarello, another young entrepreneur and future founder of Wefunder and Startup Workaway, was interested in building apps to connect people and places, while Salzberg was interested in helping merchants connect with customers. These differing goals worked well for Stamp Mobile, but promised discord in future projects.
In early 2012, Salzberg co-founded Petridish.org, a crowdfunding website for scientific research, with Ilia Papas, an e-commerce veteran. In early 2011, Salzberg approached chef Matthew Waidak about starting a meal delivery service. In August 2012, Salzberg co-founded Blue Apron with Matthew Wadiak and Ilia Papas. Papas lamented the time and energy spent finding a recipe and purchasing ingredients that might never be used again, a feeling Salzberg shared. Blue Apron delivers perfectly portioned ingredients, step-by-step photos and instructions for $10 per person. Menus are posted online one week ahead of delivery, allowing customers to choose dishes that appeal to them and decrease food spoilage due to pre-orders.
The name Blue Apron refers to the practice of beginner cooks wearing blue aprons and the company’s quest to help home cooks continue learning. By early 2014, Blue Apron had raised over $50 million in venture funding and delivered 600,000 meals per month. In April 2014, Fortune valued the company at around $500 million. The company now delivers to over 80% of the United States by population.