Designing a Smart Combination oven that complemented and validated Tovala's meal delivery service.


About Tovala

Tovala is a multi-function smart oven and food-delivery plan that work together so you can enjoy delicious, fresh home cooking at the touch of a single button.

All you do is scan your meal’s barcode and press start. In 10 to 30 minutes your meal comes out freshly cooked and ready to eat. The smart oven steams, bakes, broils, and convection heats just like the combination ovens relied on by professional chefs.


Tovala was entering start-up incubator Y-Combinator and needed to rapidly prototype a way to cook their meals. They needed an MVP to test the assumption they’d been working towards for over a year: that consumers wanted a device in their home that could immediately identify prepared raw ingredients and cook them to perfection, every single time.


The Product Manufactory stepped in as the R&D partner of Tovala and created the early high-value prototypes that validated the product concept and provided the roadmap and team to bring an internet connected combination oven to market.

After multiple discovery exercises, partnered designs, and supply chain decisions, our engineers and designers devised a plan to bring the devices to market in 13 months. This was from initial spec to the consumer’s front door.

Remember, work smart, not hard—ok, maybe both.

Make it competitively priced, make it smart, make it quickly.


Making Smart, Reliable.

Tovala needed reliable control and setup of their oven, we kept the software team in-sync with the hardware team as physical and digital limitations presented themselves, quickly solving issues as they came up. 

Winning over users and investors.

Interim beta units were crucial to the continued research and development of the first manufacturable oven. In the end, TPM created over 40 functional beta units that were used to perform beta tests in users homes and demos to investors and news media. 

Know how meets know why.


We developed a manufacturable, affordable, and consumer friendly combination oven. Crucial to the success of the project was understanding what the Minimum Viable Product was. Our team zeroed in on the must have features for the first production run and made development decisions that kept us on time.

Key Milestones:

Jan 2016: TPM sourced and produced 40 Beta units that lived in customers home’s and cooked meals worth paying for. Together with the client we gained enormous amounts of data that informed the product specification.

March 2016: A working, looks like, feels like prototype presented in front of 1,000 investors and YCominator Demo day Winter 2016.

April 2017: Over 1,000 initial units are sent to Tovala's first customers.

Future development

TPM continues to support Tovala, Tovala continues to gather momentum and funding. The initial release of units has had overwhelmingly great feedback.

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