FeedUp is an online marketplace for delicious dining experiences with a great social purpose
Please introduce yourself and your startup FeedUp to our readers!
Hey I’m Austin. Accidental social entrepreneur, kitesurfing instructor and founder of FeedUp. FeedUp is an online marketplace for delicious dining experiences with a social purpose. Easiest think of it as Airbnb meets Masterchef.
Our hosts create amazing dinning experiences in their home or another unique space allowing the FeedUp community access to the events through our website. Guests request a seat at the table with secure online booking, which is then accepted or declined by the host. After the event is finished both parties can leave feedback building trust and allowing our host chefs to rise FeedUp host leaderboard to be the top chef
Our vision is to have social dining experiences happening in every neighbourhood in the UK and beyond. This in turn allows a very simple and fun way of giving back, as we donate a meal every time you buy a ticket to a FeedUp event.
Our mission is simple. We have a target to provide 1 million meals over the next 4 years via our partner charity UKHARVEST. UKHARVEST are a charity with an incredible model for redistribution of food waste to those in need and providing both economical and environmental benefits.
What is the USP of your startup?
Our USP is based on our social purpose. It’s in our DNA, we see our platform as a way to help many people in desperate need.
1. In a world where we have more social connections than ever, people are feeling increasingly alone and disconnected. Our purpose is to create strong, enriching relationships in the community, in the most traditional way, by breaking bread and sharing a meal together (improving mental wellness).
2. According to the UN in 2016, 8 million people in the UK were worried about how they would feed themselves and 4.7 million people went without food because they did not have money or access to food.
We are not waiting for the government to solve this crisis and we have a target to put 1 million meals on the table for those in desperate need over the next 4 years.
For every event hosted we donate a nourishing meal to someone who really needs it via our chosen charity UKHARVEST. It’s called a plate for a plate donation and we think that makes everything our community does just a little more worthwhile.
3. Finally, we support charities by helping their fundraising through events on the site.
How did you get the idea to FeedUp?
Honestly, kind of by accident.
I lived in a pretty social house in Sydney and often had friends over to dinner. We talked about a dining platform of some description over a couple of months and one night I thought I’d try and put something together. I went to my room and by 4am I’d built the first iteration. It wasn’t perfect and originally I called the site FeedUs (now say that quickly in an Australian accent, F-EE-T-US. Not good for a food company!) But it did work so we arranged our next dinner party using the site. That went okay and some how the following event was posted on social media. The next day on the way to work I got a message through the site from a random person to request attendance at our second event and FeedUp (or FeedUs as it was then) as a business was born.
We quickly decided that rather than just building a business we wanted to make something for purpose and by the next event we added our plate for a plate donation.
How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
Starting was fairly easy, growing is tough. Aside from the usual issues of funding, finding the right people to work with has been quite difficult. I’ve also moved the business from Sydney to London which meant that I’ve needed to start-over in the UK. London has a much better food scene and massive audience so it’s proving to be a good move.
Who is your target audience?
Anyone who loves cooking or hosting can be one of our hosts. We can help find locations if you don’t have a space or a chef if you love to host but don’t want to cook.
On the other side of the marketplace it’s people who love eating out and are interested to meet the people behind the food and like-minded foodies. We are moving the relationship from a transactional experience (like you would have in a restaurant) to a relational one providing deep and nourishing engagement with fellow diners and the host. By attending an event you will know that you always share the passion of food with others at the table.
Can you describe a typical workday of you?
The is no such thing as a typical work day. We’re an early stage start up so I’m covering all bases every day. As a two sided online marketplace we are constantly looking for growth in the supply of hosts base as well as growth of our end users. Then we help promote awareness for our partner charities, work on improving the site and our marketing efforts as well seeking funding, increasing our business networks and daily admin. Most working days are 12-14 hours long.
One thing we do every day is connect with our new site members by using the Bonjoro app. This allows us to say a very personal individually recorded video hello and welcome to every new member to our community. We’re about real life connections so this gives a very personal touch and starts our relationship with our customers in a great way.
Where do you see yourself and your startup FeedUp in five years?
Well we’ve given ourselves 4 years to put 1 million meals on the table so I hope that we achieve that in the first instance. We are aiming to grow beyond the UK and I hope that we’re able to increase our impact with more causes who share our values.
More information you will find here
Thank you Austin for the Interview
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