Q&A with Tinia Pina, Founder & CEO of Re-Nuble

This post is part of a series where we interview Chisos portfolio company founders. 

Today, we're talking with Tinia Pina, Founder & CEO of award-winning startup Re-Nuble. 

Let’s get started with some fun facts.

Fun Facts about Tinia Pina, CEO & Founder of Re-Nuble

Tell us a little bit about Re-Nuble.

Re-Nuble converts unrecoverable food waste into a platform of sustainable technologies for indoor growers, creating a positive financial and climate effect. 

I founded Re-Nuble in March 2015. We’ve won numerous awards, including:

  • ASME ISHOW (’20)
  • Dubai Expo Live (’20)
  • Farm Bureau Agriculture Innovation Challenge (’20) Fuzehub Commercialization Competition (’19)
  • SUNY Technology Accelerator Fund Most Valuable Pitch (’19) Tamer Fund for Social Ventures (’19)
  • SOSV (’18, ‘15)
  • SVG Ventures (’18)
  • Cornell Center for Materials Research Jumpstart Program (’18) Elle x Inco Entrepreneur of the Year Award (’18) Columbia Energy Award (’18)
  • American Entrepreneurship Award (’17)
  • Long Island’s Innovator of the Year Awards (’17)
  • Wild Gift Fellowship (’15)
  • MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneurs Series (’13) American Express Emerging Innovator (’13) Huffington Post & Ignite Good Millennial Impact Challenge (’13)

Re-Nuble has also been featured in a variety of publications, including Yahoo! Finance, Yale Climate Connections, FoodTank, NACD, California Ag Today, Envolve Global, UrbanLeaf, and more.

What was the moment when you knew, "I'm ready to take the plunge and pursue my idea?"

Once I was comfortable with my level of savings, and I’d figured out the business model enough to gain customer-market fit, it made sense to let go of hustling side gigs and consulting jobs. I had enough proof points (in my eyes) to take the risk.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known when starting your own business?

I wished that I knew concepts such as manufacturability of a product, which is acutely different from product development as it relates to physical products. This would have allowed me to be far less dependent on outside support and/or team members during our embryonic stage.

How do you think about success and failure as a founder?

Success for me is inclusive, consistent, and clear communication with everything that I do. Failure is when I have allowed any of our customers (e.g. team members, stakeholders, investors, and actual customers) to feel that they are unnoticed.

What is one moment from your founder journey that you're particularly proud of?

Getting over a brief but severe period of doubt that questioned the existence of Re-Nuble. By taking the time to clear my head and think about all of the minimum proof points that I needed to have validated in order to move forward was a great help. Ultimately, peace and time by myself to think was huge.

Did you receive any advice along the way that would be meaningful to share with other founders?

Starting a business is a marathon. Pace yourself. Also, always be a realist by creating markers that you need to personally and professionally validate in order to keep the momentum for yourself and your team. Compare your results in shorter time frames (e.g. quarter by quarter).

Want to shout out any individuals or resources that were especially helpful along the way?

Jason Lemkin with Saastr.com is a gem of sales knowledge!

How did funding from Chisos help you grow?

Funding from Chisos allowed us to move more quickly during a period of bootstrapping; we were still finalizing the product iteration during the highly uncertain early days of COVID.

In the early days of getting to know them and reviewing the term sheet, the Chisos team was very respectful of our time, efficient in process, and honored our needs - and they always have. The experience has remained very positive throughout.

To learn more about Re-Nuble, follow along on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.