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Food Ordering App Wins Fall 2019 Vol Court Pitch Competition

Winners from Vol Court with their checks

The Vol Court 2019 Fall winners were, left to right: Second place, Andrew Swafford for Andy’s Beekeeping LLC, a business providing all-natural honey and beeswax products; first place, Ashley Chen and Frank Gao for YouEat, a mobile application offering a social solution to online food ordering; and third place, Joshua Cook for The Half Windsor, a company providing premium-quality bespoke suits and custom shirts.

YouEat, a mobile application offering a social solution to online food ordering, won first place in the fall 2019 Vol Court Pitch Competition hosted by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in UT’s Haslam College of Business.

Seniors Ashley Chen and Frank Gao pitched YouEat in the semiannual competition. Gao is an industrial engineering major from Tazewell, Tennessee; Chen is an industrial engineering major and entrepreneurship minor from Los Angeles, California.

The app, nicknamed Yeat by Chen and Gao, allows users to interface during the ordering process, adding to open orders to combine delivery or order pickup.

“When seeing a friend or co-worker’s lunch, all of us have thought, ‘Oh, that looks so good. I’d like to go get some, but do I have time?’ Yeat gives users the option to hop on orders before they’re placed, so users can choose how to spend that extra 20 minutes during lunch,” Gao said.

The app will save users time by providing a speedy solution to combining group orders while saving delivery fees. Yeat also offers incentives for users who choose to pick up orders.

“Yeat is all about saving users time and rewarding users for picking up lunch,” Gao said.

The team said the Vol Court award money and prize package will boost their current efforts to develop the idea.

“We are reaching out to restaurants, creating a marketing plan, and hope to gain support in the coding realm,” Chen said.

Chen and Gao’s first-place prize includes $1,500 from Red Stag Fulfillment, office space in the UT Research Foundation Business Incubator, consulting services courtesy of PYA, legal advice from Morehous Legal Group, design services from Innovative Design Inc., and web design services from Make Me Modern.

“Vol Court participants brought great energy to the competition and the speaker sessions this semester,” said Shawn Carson, Vol Court director. “It’s exciting to see the entrepreneurship community continue to grow at UT.”

The Vol Court Pitch Competition was the final event of the fall 2019 Vol Court Speaker Series. Leading up to the competition, participants attended five workshops covering entrepreneurship topics like legal structures for businesses and staffing startups.

Vol Court is a free event hosted by the Anderson Center each fall and spring semester. It is open to UT students, faculty, and staff as well as members of the local community. Partners for the competition include Red Stag Fulfillment, the UT Research Foundation, PYA, Morehous Legal Group, Three Roots Capital, Innovative Design Inc., and Make Me Modern.

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