How 3 University Of Wisconsin-Madison Students Built A Food Delivery Business


EatStreet is an online food ordering service that was founded in 2010 by Matt Howard, Eric Martell and Alex Wyler, who were then University of Wisconsin - Madison students. Since then, the company has grown to over 15,000 restaurants in more than 150 markets across the nation.

The website came about when co-founder, Eric Martell, used to order food for delivery, USA Today reported. He was informed by the delivery driver that it would be cheaper to order food directly over the phone than by using the website since it charged 75 cents just for placing the order.

Martell then told his roommate, Alex Wyler, about his experience and decided that they wanted to create their own food delivery website. They were both computer science and computer engineering majors.

Moreover, they felt that the website would overtake the competition in popularity if they made it free for people to use. They were both confident that they can handle the technical operation of making and maintaining the website. However, they needed someone who could convince businesses to work with them.

This is where Matt Howard came in. He was an economics and political science major who has had experience in selling cars.

One of the challenges that they faced during the development of the EatStreet website was that businesses refused to work with them unless the service has been proven to work for other businesses. One of the first restaurants who signed up for the service was Silver Mine Subs in Madison.

The owner, Ken Brenner, got convinced because Howard kept on dropping by to ask him to use their website. He was impressed by the college students' product and customer service.

As time passed, the EatStreet founders were able to convince more restaurants to use their service. Within a year, they had 100 Madison restaurants on the website.

There are a lot of things that students can do to start their own business in college. Some easy startup ideas for college students include providing tutoring, cleaning, transportation, web design and development as well as marketing services.

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