a local start-up encouraging those dining out locally to "buy one, feed one" through their mobile application, was recently one of two West Michigan-based businesses chosen by technology firm OST to receive a $5,000 grant for technology services. (Doorganics, the other West Michigan firm, was highlighted here.
According to Michael Lomonaco, marketing director at OST
, all the businesses that applied through their "Think Big" campaign were judged by an internal panel after the identities of the organizations' principals were removed to eliminate any bias from previous relationships. "The case that FoodCircles presented was compelling. We looked at our skill sets, and we thought we could make a very large impact on their mission," Lomonaco says.
Jonathan Kumar, FoodCircles' founder, says the OST grant will allow their team to explore a potential new market. "As we try to build consumer traction, we want to look at working with corporations. Can we repurpose client lunches to feed the community?" Kumar says. "We felt OST could help out with strategy and development to devise an app that would make FoodCircles for companies. So the same way companies try to measure and reduce energy consumption, they could now do the same thing to solve local hunger."
Since previous updates in Rapid Growth, the FoodCircles team has moved to a new office and recently added one full-time developer and three part-time positions. Business metrics shared by Kumar include over 450 consumers fed (June-August 2012), a $3,350 economic impact for restaurants and 163 meals donated to children in poverty.
To learn more about FoodCircles, you can visit their site here.
To learn more about OST, you can visit their site here.
Source: Jonathan Kumar, Food Circles, Michael Lomonaco, OST
Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor