A 25 year old female social media and technology entrepreneur from Newcastle, Australia, has won a $100,000 investment and a spot in the LAUNCH Accelerator program in San Francisco, after pitching the ‘Tinder for Food’ App business to Silicon Valley angel investor, Jason Calacanis.
Jessica Koncz is the founder of Eatsee; a QR code powered menu where you can see photos of dishes on your mobile before you decide what you want to order.
Eatsee digital menus will officially launch on 22nd April, World Earth Day, encouraging businesses to make their menus paperless to reduce environmental impact.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Jessica about this new entrepreneurial idea; she shares her original inspiration for EatSee, how she managed to secure the 100K investment, her future plans and of course her tips and advice for aspiring young businesspeople.
Where did the idea for EatSee come from?
“I’m a huge foodie myself and a super visual person so I spend a lot of time on Instagram trying to find what the food looks like at a restaurant before I decide to go there.
“Unfortunately a lot of restaurants aren’t very good at marketing themselves, so the photos never really look that great, and that’s if they even have photos on their Instagram. So when the idea of Eatsee came to mind, I felt like it was solving two real problems:
“1) Customers can now see what the food looks like before they order
2) We’re helping hospitality businesses market themselves better by taking professional photos of their dishes
“The digitalisation of their menus is just an added bonus for restaurants in terms of money saved not having to print their menus anymore!”
How did you find out about the pitch/programme and what made you decide to go for it?
“My advisor Justin (Founder of Camplify) emailed me the link one day and said to me “Jess I think you should apply for this” and when I looked into it I was like “”Wow, the winner gets 100K investment and 12 weeks in San Francisco?! If I win this it will literally change my life and if I don’t, I’m just doing the same thing I was doing before anyway!”” So I applied for it, pitched my company, won, and now I’m here in San Francisco!”
What tips and advice would you give to other young people that want to start a business?
“Identify a problem in an industry you’re passionate about so that when you’re building a company you’re actually solving a problem that people are willing to pay for. If you’re passionate about the industry and the problem you’re solving then even when things get hard you won’t give up.”
Where do you see Eatsee in 10 years?
“In 10 years time, when someone mentions the name Eatsee, I want it to make people smile because our company has a positive impact in the hospitality industry, not a negative one. My brother gave me this advice early on when he said to me “”Sis, one day you’re going to build this business to be so big that when someone mentions Eatsee in a room everyone has heard of it, and when that happens, how does your business make people feel?””
“This question has stuck with me ever since, and it’s something I always remind myself to help keep me on track. Working so closely with hospitality businesses I know that when you talk about platforms like Yelp or TripAdvisor they hate them because they’re built on customer reviews which are unfortunately usually based on negative experiences.
“This frustrates me so much because these businesses don’t understand the hospitality industry like I do, if they did and they actually cared about the restaurants their customer reviews would be sent privately to the business owners (like what we do on Eatsee) not posted publicly for everyone to see! I want Eatsee to be the first, restaurant first platform where business actually want to work with us, not cringe because they feel like they have no choice.”