FoodShare wins RECESS qualifier, advances to semifinals
FoodShare, a start-up company and app that allows users to donate a meal to those in need by taking a photo of their food at any of the company’s partnered restaurants, won the Washington University qualifying round of the RECESS entrepreneurial presentation tour held today.
The company, which charges restaurants a monthly fee to partner with its app, beat out four other groups of Washington University student start-ups to advance to the next round of the competition, which will be held April 26 at the Pageant Theatre and followed by a free musical performance by rapper Tory Lanez.
The RECESS tour is a series of business pitch competitions held across the country in which student entrepreneurs compete in a style similar to the popular TV show “Shark Tank.” The winner of the April 26 semifinal will continue to the RECESS national championship on June 9 in Los Angeles.
Social Programming Board (SPB) and the Olin Business Council (OBC) collaborated to organize the Washington University event, which was funded primarily by the RECESS tour. The event also included a meet and greet with successful entrepreneurs who later judged each company’s pitch.
Student Union special projects coordinator and senior Jessie Bluedorn noted that FoodShare has already donated over 2900 meals to families in St. Louis, which was among the company’s accomplishments that helped them win over the judges.
“I think they have a very strong plan for implementation. They’ve had the most success implementing their ideas so far,” she said. “I think they have a really specific plan for how they would use the money that they could potentially win in this contest and how it could take their company to the next level.”
Junior Andrew Glantz and senior Jacob Mohrmann, two of the company’s co-founders, made the pitch to the RECESS judging panel and have helped guide the company through a complete change in business model after its founding in July 2014.
“We then launched in April 2015, and more or less immediately pivoted two months later to the current business model of eat one give one,” Glantz said. “Since then it’s been a lot of experimentation and trying to adapt to user and restaurant needs and receiving funding. At this point we’re really trying to figure out how we can scale.”
The winners said they were also impressed by the other pitches they competed against.
“It was really exciting both to pitch and to hear everyone else’s ideas, which were great,” Glantz said. “So when they called us up for the top three and told us we won, it was really something we were grateful for, and we’re really excited to go to the next round.”