Tech In Chicago Episode #7: Katlin Smith / Founder of Simple Mills

by Colin Keeley
April 8, 2016

This post originally appeared on Tech In Chicago. Visit Tech In Chicago to listen to more interviews with Chicago’s top startup founders and venture capitalists. 

Listen to the episode on iTunes

Katlin Smith is the founder of Simple Mills, a food startup that only uses simple, whole food ingredients. While working as a consultant, Katlin discovered she had a gluten-sensitivity and started experimenting with her almond-flour baking mixes on the weekends.  Shortly after launching her almond flour muffin mix, it became the best selling muffin mix on Amazon. Simple Mills is now in over 2,000 stores nationwide, including in Whole Foods and Mariono's in Chicago. 

In This Episode You Will Learn:

  • How she came up with the idea for Simple Mills?
  • Why it's important to be the "chief sales officer" as the founder of a startup?
  • Why she started with baking mixes?
  • Why nuts are so expensive?
  • What she loves about being an entrepreneur?
  • What the process is like to bring a new food product to market? 
  • How she has found and cultivated her advisors? 
  • How the challenges of being a founder change as your startup grows?
  • How she approaches getting into new stores?
  • Why she thinks Chicago is the easiest city to network in? 

Favorite Books:

Miscellaneous Things Mentioned:

Listen to the episode on iTunes

About Tech In Chicago:

Tech In Chicago takes you inside the Chicago tech world. Each week Colin Keeley is joined by Chicago’s top founders and investors to talk about the amazing companies being built right here. If you want to learn more about Tech In Chicago, head to

I would love to hear your thoughts on the show and any guests I should have on. Please reach out @TechInChicago. You can also find me @ColinKeeley.

Chicago startup guides

Best Companies to Work for in Chicago
Inside the Best Software Engineer Jobs in Chicago
Tour the Coolest Offices in Chicago Tech
Inside the Best Sales Jobs in Chicago
Your Guide to the Best Perks at Chicago Tech Companies
Your Guide to Healthtech in Chicago
Inside the Best Data Science & Data Analyst Jobs in Chicago
Inside the Best Marketing Jobs in Chicago