Funding Friday: Misen Non Stick Pan

Earlier this week, I talked about the D2C consumer products sector and how it has exploded over the last decade. Another contributor to that explosion are crowdfunding services like our portfolio company Kickstarter that allow entrepreneurs to launch their products and quickly get feedback and funding for them.

The Gotham Gal has made a number of these D2C investments and one of my favorite of hers is Misen, a D2C manufacturer of cooking products.

They launch their products on Kickstarter and then take them to market direct to consumer over the Internet, thereby taking out the cost of the retail channel which allows them to sell high end products at mid-level prices.

They have a product launch on Kickstarter right now called the Misen Non-Stick Pan. I backed it earlier this week and the project funding ends this weekend.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Matt Zagaja

    I got their knife after it was released. Works great!

    1. Pointsandfigures

      really, that’s interesting. knives are more expensive than pans. For pans, Cast iron works awesome if you take care of it and season it

      1. Mike Zamansky

        If we’re talking D2C, kickstarter and cast iron pans, check out The Field Company (

      2. Donna Brewington White

        Twenty-six years later my cast iron skillet (now well seasoned) is still one of my favorite wedding gifts received.My son grew up with it all his life, but it wasn’t until culinary school that he truly appreciated it. Had the nerve to ask me for it. I would take a bullet for him, but he can’t have my skillet while I’m still alive.

        1. Susan Rubinsky

          Even better are vintage cast iron skilets. They are so well seasoned, you can fry practically anything in it and it won’t stick. My favorite is an early 1900’s cast iron 11 3/4″ WagnerWare I bought at a flea market many years ago.

          1. Donna Brewington White

            Oooh!Something about owning a cast iron skillet made me more grown up. 🙂

  2. jason wright

    I don’t trust any non-stick coating to be free of carcinogenic ‘ingredients’. I won’t use non-stick pans.

  3. Mike Zamansky

    I absolutely love their chef’s knife. The paring knife’s a little small.The sad thing is that my daughter already claimed it for when she moves out.

    1. fredwilson

      restock !!!

  4. iggyfanlo

    Thanks.As they state I needed new ones and while they may be a bit late hopefully get them by the holdiays

  5. Tom Labus

    A feta and tomato omelet, please

    1. fredwilson

      joanne loves to make eggs, feta, and tomatoes. but she often does it as a scramble

      1. Donna Brewington White

        It is interesting how scrambled and an omelet can taste so differently with the same exact ingredients.

        1. PhilipSugar

          You need to try some with fresh duck eggs. My wife keeps them as pets but they are prodigious layers they are so rich and orange https://uploads.disquscdn.c

  6. LIAD

    —so is this the new route to market for these kind of startups?A angel/seed round and then a kickstarter campaign?So now kickstarter also about distribution of an existing product from a funded team?

  7. awaldstein

    Thanks Fred.While I’ve pretty well switched to the Field Company (Brooklyn based cast iron pans), I’ve spent the past hour looking at the manufacturer and their model.Its a case study for how communities can be markets and how Kickstarter, these many years later is still a key piece of the innovation ecosystem of the world.

    1. daryn

      I love the Field Company skillet I have (also backed on Kickstarter), but handy to have a nonstick as well, primarily for omelettes.Also, while it’s a common KS tactic, pretty wild to see Misen at almost $900kpledged of $25k goal

      1. awaldstein

        Yup!Kinda blew me away.(And yes, had non sticks forever, but the new stuff have been cast iron. Folks at Field are the epitome of all the good you want in an artisanal startup. Good people, making a really good product.)

      2. LE

        I will tell you something that I am sure most people don’t think about. Having such a large (and public) display of potential in some cases can have a paradoxical business implication. Because it will greatly increase competition. Now that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea to either get a great result or strategy with regards to initial pricing but it is something to consider and understand.There are many examples of this. One is all of those mattress companies that are d2c. Now you could also say the market is increased as a result as well. But it’s kind of funny how if you do really really well you will then have all sorts of competitors following your path. And at that point the product may be inferior but the marketing will clearly claim it is better or just as good. And you could get squashed. Shot in the back. Pioneers.I saw a similar thing happen first time in the 70’s as a kid. There was a game called ‘rummikub’ that was played by the Jews in the Catskills. It took off. My dad (who sold imported giftware) was making a ton of money selling that game. Couldn’t keep it in stock. Then all the sudden everyone and their uncle wanted to distribute and sell the game. I remember my Dad going to the Israeli embassy and saying something like “I sold things from Israel for years when nobody else did (not true but close to it) and now I have a hot product and the factories are selling it to a bigger fish. (Approximate of what happened). So in that case the fact that it was to hot t worked against him.Will point out that this is also why in business you typically don’t want to talk to much about what you do in a public way if it can be avoided. In many cases it just encourages the competition and spurs them on.

  8. JamesHRH

    We have some killer Le Creuset nonsticks.Got them at a trusted kitchen store 2 years ago. Why would I buy these?

  9. TaylorDTA

    Please read about the harmful effects non-stick coatings can have on our food and by extension our health. It is an endocrine disruptor and disastrous for the proper regulation of our hormones.

    1. jason wright


    2. kidmercury

      any recommendations on cookware?

      1. TaylorDTA

        Ceramic cookware is the way to go. I use a company called Greenpan.

        1. kidmercury

          thanks a lot for the recommendation, we will be getting some new ceramic cookware this week 🙂

    3. Donna Brewington White

      That was my first thought as well. I do wonder if the durability of the nonstick coating on the Misen pan means less is transferring to what is being cooked?

  10. sigmaalgebra

    To me, D2C looks like a principle, pattern, disruption, etc. that will be very disruptive, lower prices, etc.Non-stick pans: I do my own cooking, but to me non-stick pans are no problem. E.g., for me, a common dinner is from egg sandwiches. So, toast two slices of bread. Scramble two eggs and add a little salt. In an old non-stick pan over high heat, melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter. Add eggs, stir to coagulate the liquid parts, and fold into a rectangle about the size of the toast. If do a good job folding with some liquid egg inside, then the liquid egg can emit some steam and cause the rectangle to puff — cute. BIngo, egg sandwich. Two of these make a nice dinner. With the butter, no problem with non-stick. So, the bread is about 75 C per slice, 150 C for a sandwich. The eggs are about 80 a piece or 160 for the sandwich. The 2 tablespoons of butter are 200 C. So one sandwich is 510 C. Can get by with 1 tablespoon of butter for 410 C. Can have two of these for dinner and keep total for day under 2000 C. So, it’s nutritious food not wildly high in calories.Another goofy dinner is from hash browned potatoes. For this I use just a medium sized cast iron skillet. Get some small-medium sized Russet potatoes. Place in a pot, cover with water, and over high heat cook for 60 minutes or until a sharp paring knife inserts easily. Remove potatoes, place in a colander to cool. Place in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate. For a batch of hash browns, get 2-3 medium yellow globe onions and dice. Cook in a cast iron skillet over medium heat with olive oil and/or other fat until softened, maybe 15 minutes. Use a lot of fat, maybe even enough to cover the diced onions. Add maybe 100 twists of a pepper mill filled with black pepper. Meanwhile dice 2 pounds of the cooked potatoes. Add to a 2-3 quart stainless steel bowl. When onions are done, dump them with their fat on top of the diced potatoes in the bowl. Mix gently. Pack the potato-onion mixture into the cast iron skillet. Have enough fat in the skillet to rise to at least half the depth of the potatoes. Cook over medium-high heat until the potatoes on the bottom of the skillet get a brown as desired without burning to brittle crisps. Place a dinner plated upside down on the top of the skillet. Turn the skillet and plate upside down, holding the handle of the skillet in one hand and keeping the plate in place with the other hand. Then tilt about 45 degrees over the bowl and let the liquid fat drain into the bowl (the bowl now has the fat and other wise is ready for the next batch of hash browns). Tilt so that the plate right side up and level. Lift off the skillet. Add ketchup to the hash browns. So, the potatoes are nearly “deep fried” in fat, and there is no problem with anything sticking. Start a YouTube video of a Trump rally video and chow down! If have a nice SO, then pick something much nicer for the food!For a chef’s knife, say, to dice the onions and potatoes, some years ago Sam’s club sold two chef’s knives for $15. Best chef’s knives I’ve seen at any price. Sure, stainless steel blade but also with sides with texture and coating that help food to fall off and ease cleaning. NSF non-slip plastic handle. Since there is no wood and nothing to rust, can soak the knife if need be for cleaning. The knives were from Brazil. The blade metal takes and keeps a good edge relatively well.Generally, for B2C, manufacturers can/should set up a Web site and sell direct. So, some of the old retail chains, channels, etc. can be dis-intermediated, disrupted. Then prices can fall. Then have the Fed take advantage of the falling prices and print a little more money so that the retail employees can get new jobs — net, more economic productivity. Since the new jobs might be better than the old ones, get more tax revenue.For non-stick surfaces, long ago I bought a Westinghouse aluminum electric skillet. It has a non-stick surface that works well and is, for a non-stick surface, essentially indestructible. The key idea is that the aluminum is NOT smooth but has likely millions of sharp little mountain peaks. Then the nonstick material is in the valleys between the peaks; the peaks are too sharp for food to stick; and the peaks protect the non-stick material from damage. I use the skillet occasionally when I want to recapitulate some of the good memories of my childhood or some such and cook French toast — 3 eggs, 3/4 cup milk, 8 slices of bread, and lots of maple flavored syrup!

  11. PradipCloud

    Just Backed!

  12. paramendra

    This was the funniest Fred Wilson blog post to date. In my count. A non stick frying pan? Really? 🙂

  13. Donna Brewington White

    So now you can afford some of this dandy cookware! Go for it!