Category Archives: Competitions

NCIIA Workshop

Last weekend, four of us had the privilege of attending the National Collegiate Inventors Association E-Team workshop in Boston. At the workshop, we listened to several successful entrepreneurs share their start-up wisdom, and took part in several exercises designed to help us refine our value proposition, identify solutions to challenges we face, and create a winning go-to-market strategy.

Perhaps the most valuable part of our weekend was the strategy mapping exercise facilitated by James Barlow. We knew going into the workshop that we had a tremendous amount of work to do in order to become an international food recovery network. Sometimes, like many businesses, we would feel bogged down by the many inter-connected challenges that prevent us from growing our organization and accomplishing our goals. Through strategy mapping, we were forced to list every problem that gets in our way, as well as potential solutions, using sticky notes on a giant canvas.

Next, we drew lines connecting each problem and solution. Oftentimes, problems were connected to other problems, which in turn had multiple solutions, but then certain solutions may cause other problems. Things got complicated! However, once we had everything out on our canvas, we could easily organize problems and solutions into particular categories, including resources, people, activities, and products. Categorization was an important step, as it forced us to get extremely specific when figuring out what we need to accomplish moving forward.

Thanks NCIIA for an awesome weekend!

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Rice Business Plan Competition

Eric and Katelyn saying "Go Devils!" in the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University.

Eric and Katelyn saying “Go Devils!” in the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University.

Last week, Eric and I traveled to Houston, Texas, to represent FlashFood in the finals of the Rice Business Plan Competition. It was a privilege to compete in such a prestigious competition.  After 3 pitches, we walked away with $700, dozens of business cards, hundreds of well wishes, and we are one step closer to making making our vision a reality. A big thanks to everyone who helped us prepare for this competition.

To learn more about the outstanding work of the Houston Food Bank visit their website. You can also read about the other exciting startup companies that were at the competition.


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FlashFood Nominated for Inc. Magazine’s Coolest College Startup!

We could not be more excited to be nominated for Inc. Magazine’s Coolest College Startup!

This competition features twelve other student-owned startups from American Universities. The company that earns the most votes by May 1 will be crowned the coolest.

To vote for FlashFood, all you have to do is click the Facebook “Like” button on our Inc. profile page. You can only vote once, so we would appreciate it if you shared this with your friends!

Thank you for your continued support!

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FlashFood Receives second ASU Innovation Challenge Award!

ASU Innovation Challenge

Last night, we had the honor of accepting a $3,500 award from the 2013 Arizona State University Innovation Challenge. This competition means a lot to us. Last year, we received our first ever batch of start-up funding ($2,000) from the challenge and were given valuable advice from judges that helped shape what FlashFood is today. We are grateful for the continued support from ASU Changemaker, Arizona State University, and others in our community. Also, congratulations to all of the other student entrepreneurs! We are sure that you will go on to accomplish great feats.

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Vote for FlashFood in the 2013 Dell Social Innovation Challenge!

For the second year in a row, FlashFood is a semifinalist in the Dell Social Innovation Challenge!

We would love it if you vote for us in the the People’s Choice Awards for the Food and Nutrition Category 🙂


Epic Conclusion to the Quest!

Here’s what you’ve all been waiting for, the conclusion of the Quest!

Episode 5 of the Quest

In this episode, we are all a little nervous before the first round of the competition. Keep watching though and you’ll see us nail the pitch!

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Episode 4 of the Quest

In this episode we finally arrive in Sydney!

YUM! Sustainability Challenge Conclusion

Although we did not win the YUM! Sustainability Challenge, we had (and are still having) amazing time in Louisville, Kentucky at the YUM corporate headquarters. We received valuable feedback on how we can make FlashFood better, hung out with a lot of other very talented students from across the country, and learned a ton of cool things about YUM regarding their culture, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability initiatives. We also won the YUM “Positive Spark Award” recognizing our passion for FlashFood as well as our engaging presentations. We truly feel like we are part of the YUM family now!

Yum Day 1

It’s Wednesday night, and we’ve just completed our first day at the Yum Sustainability Challenge. We started off the day by taking a tour to the Mohammad Ali Center, in Downtown Louisville. We all learned a lot about the very inspiring life of Mohammad Ali, and about how to apply his six core values to our life, such as dedication, respect, and giving. Next, we participated in the project showcase and were able to present our idea to local students and YUM employees. Finally, we were served dinner and listened to a number of interesting presentations on the YUM Brands and the YUM’s corporate sustainability profile. Did you know that KFC is the number one company/brand in China? Or that the menus and operating styles of KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut change depending on what country they’re located in? This company is HUGE, dynamic, and its employees are very cool. So far we’re loving Kentucky!

Tomorrow, the team will give their semi-finalist presentation to a panel of judges. Wish us luck!

–Mary Hannah

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