Forget singing in the shower: University of Utah student Joshua Wilson, a double major in Asian studies and political science, spends his shower time coming up with brilliant business ideas. During a particularly long soak, he realized one common problem for college students across the world: “not being able to find food.”
Wilson’s initial idea led to the creation of UFood. This app includes map, review and trending sections to help students find the best food on campus.
UFood uses geolocation technology to provide dining information that is typically missing from apps like Google or Yelp. The app will feature locations of restaurants and food trucks, operating hours, reviews, wait times and a trending section that displays special offers. “It’s a place for businesses to advertise because there are a lot of deals that happen on campus that people don’t know about,” Wilson said.
With UFood, finding delicious food on campus will be easier than ever before. “Our biggest innovation is the trademarked Upin,” Wilson said. “Typically, you have to endlessly scroll to see menus or plain old reviews. Our pin shows business, cost, type of food and the name of the restaurant, all without having to click on the pin.”
To create UFood, Wilson worked with team members Kent Thai, Walter Hickman and Nanjie Li. The UFood team met in Entrepreneurship 1020, taught by professor Brenner Adams, who teaches in the Department of Entrepreneurship and Strategy at the David Eccles School of Business. In this course, students learned about principles of entrepreneurship and applied these lessons by developing ideas for a startup company. UFood used the strengths of each team member to build their idea: Wilson and Thai handled promotion, Hickman developed the app itself and Li worked as artistic designer. In the course’s final pitch event, UFood was ranked first place.
Currently, the UFood team is working to secure funding to bring UFood to the U campus, and eventually to colleges across Utah and the United States.