Vanessa is a co-founder of Omsom, the daughter of Vietnamese refugees, and a Bain & Company and Harvard alum. She advised Fortune 500 CPGs on their growth and retail strategy as a management consultant at Bain. Prior to that, she managed a $3M e-commerce business while studying Sociology and Economics at Harvard. She loves thinking about the cultivation of vulnerable and wholehearted work culture, painting watercolors, and cooking all things fermented, caramelized and braised. She was recently named one of the Top 100 Home Cooks by Airbnb.
Kim is a longtime human-in-technology, having worked in early-stage startups and venture capital since she was 16. She graduated from New York University, where she was the first female president of Tech@NYU, NYC’s largest developer and designer organization, and founding partner of Dorm Room Fund NYC, First Round Capital’s student-run venture arm. Prior to co-founding Omsom, Kim was most recently Head of Platform at Frontline Ventures in London, where she was named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in 2017. When she’s not over-using garlic in recipes or biking around Brooklyn, you can find Kim thinking about the decolonisation of POC cuisines, sex positivity in modern society, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
What inspired you/your team to create this company?
Omsom was founded on a mission to reimagine the outdated “ethnic” aisle and to honor, reclaim, and celebrate the multitudes that exist in Asian cuisines and communities. Our name, rooted in the Vietnamese word for rowdy, is a reflection of that – no more diluted dishes, no more cultural compromise.
We partner with iconic chefs to craft our starters who, like us, have connections to these flavors that run deep. And because we firmly believe that rising tides raise all boats, our Tastemaker chef partners receive a royalty fee in exchange for their hard work, creativity, and expertise.
We’re here to bring proud, loud Asian flavors to home kitchens any day of the week, sitting right between the tomato sauce and olive oil.
What distinguishes your company and product in the market?
Our Omsom starters are truly a product form all their own. Unlike other sauces, seasonings, spices or condiments that are combined or added at the end of firing up a dish, our starters have all the foundational flavor components needed to cook a specific Asian dish. We often source from 15+ suppliers for a single ingredient to ensure the best quality, flavor, and integrity, and this includes importing ingredients from Asia that aren’t currently being brought in by other food brands. Our deep partnership with our Tastemaker chefs in our R&D and formulation process also help us to deliver the “closest” to homemade flavor.