St. LOUIS – The presence of young, successful entrepreneurs in the media has made creating a startup company extremely attractive to college students. Andrew Glantz,Washington ’14is a prime example of an up-and-coming entrepreneur that has had many accomplishments during his time at Washington University.
Andrew began his journey with Alpha Kappa Psi during the fall of 2014. Along with Alpha Kappa Psi, Glantz kept busy with six courses, being vice president of Washington University’s Sports Management organization, owning the Trading Post (a storefront on campus), and beginning FoodShare, his latest business with co-founder Aiden Folbe.
FoodShare is a socially conscious app in which a user dines at one of 40 partnered restaurants, and FoodShare donates a meal through their current partnership with Operation Food Search. Users can also donate additional meals by sharing their experience on Facebook. FoodShare will donate yet another meal through a friend referral program. This app is a great way for visitors and members of the St. Louis community to give back and help a local charity provide food to those in need.
Glantz attributes Alpha Kappa Psi’s Alpha Lambda Chapter as a guiding and influential part in his endeavor. Two members helped FoodShare directly, by creating the website and managing the social media pages. Through discussions and workshops, Glantz accredited, “being around other talented individuals in my chapter pushed me to want to make the most of this opportunity with FoodShare. Everyone in Alpha Kappa Psi is so passionate about what they do and they work hard to make their dreams a reality. I emulated much of my leadership style from others that I saw in my chapter.”
Glantz originally thought balancing school and FoodShare would be nearly impossible. However, after being in the classroom, he found that he could directly link the courses he was taking to his business experience with FoodShare. Ultimately, he began to discuss his business outside of the classroom with professors who have become mentors in his venture and provided many words of wisdom.
“In the summer of 2014, Aidan Folbe and I were both interns at Navitas Capital, a venture capital firm in Los Angeles. We were sitting down at a restaurant during our lunch break and noticed that though the food was great, the restaurant did not have many customers.” Glantz realized that there was a service he could provide to the community while also helping local restaurants with their marketing efforts. “We started to bounce ideas back and forth for creative marketing techniques, and eventually came up with the preliminary ideas for FoodShare. We performed two months of market research and spoke with restaurant owners to get feedback on the business model. Next, we hired an app development company to design and program the app. We launched FoodShare on the App Store in April 2015.”
Glantz recently began a Kickstarter campaign to help fund FoodShare’s new business model. The app is free for users and there are no ads to detract from the experience. Currently, the restaurants are on free trials, so anything FoodShare provides to Operation Food Search is out-of-pocket. FoodShare has raised nearly $5,700, which is 285% of their initial funding goal. Any donations to their campaign would make a large difference in sustaining their current plans and future expansion.