CEO of BigZpoon told his story of creating a startup and advised entrepreneurs of all ages to give it their all when starting a business on Feb. 23, at De Anza College.
BigZpoon, a Silicon Valley based company, involves collaboration between restaurant owners and consumers to achieve a two-pronged goal: help reduce food waste from restaurants and save the environment.
Normally, when restaurants have food they didn’t serve, it gets thrown away. But, BigZpoon offers those restaurants a deal to serve those meals at a lower price to customers through their mobile app.
The mobile app would search restaurants in the customer’s vicinity and mark those with unserved food, match the price at a lower rate, package the food and notify the customer ordering that it’s ready for pick up.
Ukhalkar stressed the win-win situation it creates, citing that customers get good food at affordable prices and helps the environment by preventing further food waste.
“It took us almost two years to solidify and validate the idea, find a outsourcing partner in India to develop software for us and get complete platform developed and tested,” Ukhalkar said.
Initially, the idea to reduce food waste coming from restaurants looked to be appealing, but most restaurants refused to cooperate.
“We found it very difficult to reach the right decision maker,” Yildrin said. “Our response was persistent and we continued to reach out to them through various channels. We also refined our message to increase the chance of getting their attention.”
Ukhalkar gave tips regarding establishing a startup, citing uniqueness, feasibility and practicality.
“The idea has to be unique, one that nobody has thought of yet. Feasible enough to do it and more importantly, practical and usable for everyone,” he said.
Sebastian, a freshman business major, said that the presentation helped a lot in creating his own ideas.
“In the future, I’m looking to start my own business and I’ll remember this for sure,” he said.
For young entrepreneurs looking to begin their own startups, Mr. Ukhalkar closed the presentation with a final piece of advice.
“Entrepreneurship is a high stakes game. Know your odds before jumping in. Don’t assume you know it all. If there is unknown territory or problem, learn from it and move fast to correct the situation.” Ukhalkar said. “Finally, do it for passion, not money. Plenty of money will come when you succeed.”
The BigZpoon app is available on the Google Play store and the App store.