By: Roshan Selladurai
The past few months a friend and I have been working on this idea, which molded into Foodraisers. Since we didn’t blog during Season 1, we’ll have to do a “Here’s what happened last season…” post. So, here’s what happened last season (few months)…
Deciding to Think About Thinking About an Idea:
Since the Fall of 2013, I have been involved in a business development program on campus, which has exposed me to the startup environment. Almost every aspect of my team’s project is amazing, but there is one thing I absolutely hate: I am a team member, not a team leader. In other words, I am not a founder of a startup, but rather am developing one. Call me prideful or arrogant (both are true), but I knew it was time I began looking into starting my own venture. I knew I needed a co-founder to make this happen, so I called on the best Kelley student I know, Payne Chestnut. Payne is an experienced entrepreneur, and one of the smartest people I know. We decided to go for this, and set our sights on gaining initial seed funding at our campus’ Pitch Competition. You can read about the Pitch Competition here, and more about Foodraisers here, and check out our website here. (Update: Since these articles were written, our team has changed, and only Payne and I will be working on Foodraisers.)
In an effort to not make this a novel, I’ll skip the details of Foodraisers, but in short, Foodraisers is a fundraising platform which donates a majority of revenue to a noble cause or nonprofit. Essentially, we believe that an innovative fundraising avenue is worth pursuing. It took a long time to arrive at the idea for Foodraisers. We initially started out with a bakery idea, then an e-commerce site, then a more focused e-commerce site, then a medical technology company (just kidding), then Foodraisers, then Foodrazors (we had to…), then back to Foodraisers, then a better Foodraisers, then a better Foodraisers…you get the picture.
What is Driving Us:
While there are various reasons for pursuing Foodraisers, we narrowed down our three core reasons as:
- Impacting Our Community The key factor among all other things is the fact that we want to impact our community. While we can’t completely turn our city into a utopia, we can make minor improvements in the overall picture. The first problem we are tackling is hunger, specifically children’s hunger. Hunger was just one of the problems we noticed, but it had a real connection with our startup, so it was a great starting point. “Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry.” This quote by Bill Drayton, a social entrepreneur himself, summarizes why we’re doing this. Sure we could have just thrown a fundraiser and given the proceeds to fight hunger in Indy, but our goal is to make a real sustainable solution for this problem.
- Putting Our Education to Use We couldn’t be more honored to represent the Kelley School through Foodraisers, and our win at the Pitch Competition. Kelley instills in each student the desire to create value, and the professors always push us to be better. For us, this was an extremely conducive environment to pursue a startup venture. It was about time we put our education to use and started building something. It’s one thing to memorize Lego instructions, but eventually you have to begin building.
- Having Too Much Time I found myself at a point where I have completed impressive internships and held leadership roles in organizations on campus. This stuff was real, this stuff was fun, but it was never real fun. During classes I am half listening (more like 5%) and focusing most of my attention on Foodraisers and reading about startups. The point is, we had time to focus on internships, clubs, procrastinating, a startup, video games, TV, finding parking at IUPUI, or doing nothing — we decided to go full force with a startup, and Foodraisers it is.
We’ll blog more on this later, in short:
We’re coming to a city near you (if you are near Indy).