Chris Neider Shares His Passion for Robotics with Menlo College Students

Chris Neider Shares His Passion for Robotics with Menlo College Students

Chris Neider is all about high-tech delivery. Freshmen in Professor Deborah Brown McCabe’s Management 101 class had an opportunity to learn from his experience as an entrepreneur and cutting-edge delivery provider.

After acquiring experience in search engine optimization and keyword ranking, Neider founded menuMe, a business with a mission to make menus smart and accessible for everyone, everywhere. He launched his menuMe app to show customers the food they love, review the restaurants that provide it, and offer directions on getting it delivered. When that space became highly competitive, he had to evolve the idea; first into Sterling, a company whose drivers delivered menuMe’s listed foods to hotel guests, and then into Sendbot, a hotel ordering and delivery platform powered by robots.

Neider started working in robotics in 2016 when he met up with Savioke, a company that built an amazing robot called “Relay.” He saw a huge opportunity to incorporate the robot into his hotel delivery – and Sendbot was born. The Park Central in San Francisco and the Oakland Marriott are hotels that will be testing out his new service this fall. Neider’s big vision is a “robot revolution” that will make delivery fast, easy, and economical. He said, “I’m passionate about this form of delivery, and think it will change delivery as we know it.”

Neider’s advice on bringing a product to market is “innovate or die.” He told students to keep thinking about how to improve and advance ideas, and added “you will not bring your passions to fruition unless you have a great team around you.”

He offered five points for students at Menlo College.

  1. You’re in Silicon Valley, the most fertile soil for building a business. Take advantage of this location to learn as much as you can.
  2. Find your passion. Ideas will arise. Write them down when they do. You’ll come across things that resonate.
  3. Develop a team from your network. Pick people who are as passionate about their skill area as you are about yours.
  4. Develop your skills while you’re in school. Don’t wait until you graduate to learn the foundational skills. Do it now.
  5. Enjoy the ride!

Neider inspired the students to ask many questions about how they too could become entrepreneurs. One of their queries was ‘when do you know if you can launch a business?’ Neider explained that “Plenty of ideas die. Evolve or die is a personal decision that every entrepreneur must make in the pursuit of their dream. In our case, we were fortunate to have the capital to keep building and evolving our idea, so we could turn it into a viable business.”

“From my network, I chose my team by their passions. My first employees were engineers and product people, and needs for other employees continue to grow. When you wonder if your idea is worth pursuing, you’ll find that talking and getting feedback is very important. It is also important to do a lot of market analysis to understand the landscape you’re planning to operate in.”

With Sendbot, Neider must address the needs of three distinct customer groups: management who want to keep guests happy, property owners who are profit-oriented, and hotel brands that set the standard. “Our mission is to get robots into every hotel,” he stated. “Robots empower hotel staff to do more, and it is also a new exciting experience for hotel guests to order more than ever before. We think this is the future of delivery at hotels.”