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LNK Startup Update: Helping Oats

Written by Matt Westenburg

With more than 18 years of experience as a certified public accountant, Matt has helped companies develop & validate business models, raise capital and provide management expertise. He enjoys working with entrepreneurs who are passionate about achieving their goals and bettering the community. He was voted the Silicon Prairie “Service Provider of the Year” and has been recognized multiple times for his contributions to the local entrepreneurial community.

Bland, grey, dull, mush: most of the connotations with the word, “oatmeal”, make it tough to match the product with the excitement and innovation of the startup world. That is, until you find out about Anne Bachmann, the founder of Helping Oats, a company specializing in oatmeal, and “helping people have an amazing experience to start the day.”

One look at Bachmann’s products, and those notions about oatmeal start to change. With bowls like “Apple Pie”, that’s made with, “rolled oats, baked apples, creamy caramel sauce, homemade pie crumbles”, it’s tough to think your Mom’s oatmeal and Helping Oats could ever be called by the same thing.

However, there are numerous expansion possibilities in the expanding health food market, especially for a company responding to the noise of “superfoods”, “biodynamics”, and “life changing antioxidants” with, “We just want to help people have an amazing start to the day.”

Yet, it is still oatmeal, and it’s that simplicity that has allowed Bachmann to take her idea to market. After becoming a finalist in the University of Nebraska pitch contest, Bachmann left her internship at fellow Lincoln startup, Bulu Box to garner $28,000 in funds to get Helping Oats off the ground. Bulu Box founder, Paul Jarrett, still works as an advisor to the company.

Recently, Bachmann has developed an on-the-go bowl for Helping Oats, and continued serving the product at The Bay in Lincoln, NE along with several other farmer’s markets.

The future holds a lot of promise for Bachmann, as she works to finish up her business degree at the University of Nebraska and grow Helping Oats along the way. With its midwest roots, Bachmann is looking to coffeehouse chain, Scooter’s, as a partner to take her next step with. However, there are numerous expansion possibilities in the expanding health food market, especially for a company responding to the noise of “superfoods”, “biodynamics”, and “life changing antioxidants” with, “We just want to help people have an amazing start to the day.”

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