TechCrunch Hardware Battlefield NimaIt’s hard to believe so much has transpired in the year since Nima won TechCrunch Hardware Battlefield at CES 2016. Last year, we were developing beta units for customer feedback. One year later, we are back at CES, and shipping Nima pre-orders to our early adopters. We are selling our product and growing our database of food tests around the United States! We have grown our team by 60 percent and made great traction in the development of our second product: a peanut sensor.

As we are surrounded by incredible consumer hardware innovation and emerging digital technology at CES, I’d like to take stock and define our identity as Nima today.

Nima reflections 2016

Today, Nima is:

For consumers

Nima was created by people for people who needed to actively avoid foods in order to stay healthy and stress-free at meal time. Both myself and Scott had very different motivations to avoid gluten in our diets but shared the common need for instant information about food.

We started with consumers because people told us they were getting exposed to foods they were trying to avoid about one out of three times they ate outside of the home. While restaurants try to accommodate people with special dietary needs, kitchens are chaotic, staff and suppliers change often and a plate changes between many different hands before it reaches the diner.

In our early data from pre-order customers on the Nima app, we have seen that 40 percent of foods tested outside of the home that were supposed to be gluten-free have come back positive for gluten, for even a pea sized sample! Given our market research this is not surprising but it’s illuminating to have data to support the customer experience.  We may assist food service and manufacturers in the future, but they weren’t the ones with the immediate pain point. Nima was designed for you.


Nima is providing new information in a new technology platform with a new application for consumers. The world has never seen anything like this. We have seen some people choose to eat the sample of food, even if trace amounts of gluten are detected. We have seen others choose not to eat the food even if Nima did not detect anything in the sample, given that the other data they had about the eating decision made them uncomfortable. We have have seen people feel poorly after a meal and then use Nima after consuming the food to validate if the sample contained gluten or not. Our prerogative is to supplement and enrich your life with more data points at mealtime, and it’s completely up to you to make a decision on how you want to use that data.

Not only is the one test result from your plate a way to make better decisions about a dish, but the Nima app also aggregates all the data from all Nima customers to help the entire community make more informed decisions about where to eat, before they even leave the house. For instance, if you are going to Vegas, you can look forward to at least 20 new Nima test data points that reflect our eating experience at Vegas for CES – so you can try something new or validate your favorite restaurant.

A tool

Nima is one more tool in a vast toolkit users have today to be selective about what to eat. Before Nima, consumers were reading ingredient labels, calling and talking to restaurant staff, emailing food manufacturers and more – and were still exposed to gluten unintentionally. Nima is not meant to replace anything of these precautions users are taking but rather supplement the same routines you have so you can be equipped with even more information. Nima is a screen and a potential extra line of defense for you that you’ve never had – until now.

What gets us excited

Ultimately, this is peace of mind to our team.

What is 2017 to bring for Nima?

Take a peek at how the community is using Nima to validate restaurants that they have always trusted and loved and will continue to trust and love given Nima results, to determine what dishes they feel safer eating at restaurants, to test packaged foods and to navigate the challenge of eating out with a peace of mind.

Right now, you can reserve a Nima to be one of the first to be one of the first to get yours when it goes on sale in the next couple months. We’re also excited to be developing our peanut sensor for planned release in late 2017.

We exist to serve you and our community

We are hyper focused on your experience and making sure Nima is improving your life. Please email me with any feedback that can make Nima better for you: We are listening and constantly evolving to make Nima a great tool for you.

-Shireen Yates, CEO and co-founder, Nima