Grubhub.com Wins the University of Chicago New Venture Challenge

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Chicago Website that shows users “Who Delivers” wins $25,000 and continues to gain national recognition at prestigious competition.

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A national panel of venture capitalists awarded Grubhub.com, a website founded in Chicago by two friends, first place out of over 60 entries in the 10th Annual Edward L. Kaplan New Venture Challenge at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Winners were selected based upon the uniqueness of product and services, fulfilling an unmet need, exceeding customer expectations and the likelihood of market success.

Grubhub.com is the only way for people to find all of the restaurants that deliver to them. Users simply enter their address into the website and Grubhub.com returns the menus, coupons, and delivery information for all of the restaurants that deliver to that location. Grubhub.com is totally free for users because it is in the business of lead generation for delivery restaurants.

“What an ingenious idea,” said Michael Alter CEO of SurePayroll, Inc, #53 of the Inc. 500 fastest growing companies. “Its so simple and absolutely useful, everyone should use Grubhub.com!”

Today Grubhub serves over 75,000 users per month and is growing by 30% every month. Last year, Chicagoans placed over 2 million dollars in orders for delivery through Grubhub.com. Users can call the restaurants to place a delivery order or use Grubhub’s online ordering system.

Founded by Mike Evans and Matt Maloney, both of whom have masters degrees in computer science and used to work at Apartments.com, Grubhub has been a labor of love until now. “We have called every restaurant in the city of Chicago to get our data,” said Mike Evans, “We maxed out our cell phone minutes, our credit cards, and not to mention our wives’ patience, but this recognition is absolutely worth the sacrifice.”

Grubhub.com is using the prize money to fund a national expansion to San Francisco, Seattle, New York City, Boston, and Washington D.C.

Widely held as the premier business school for budding entrepreneurs, the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business created The New Venture Challenge in 1996 as a way to promote entrepreneurship. Now in its 10th year, the competition has launched 30 new companies that have attracted more than $100 million in funding. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity also supported the competition by donating a portion of the prize money.

Contestants were judged based on their prospects for success, quality of their business plan, and a final presentation to a panel of 19 distinguished judges and over 200 spectators at the University of Chicago on May 25, 2006.

About the Edward L. Kaplan New Venture Challenge

Founded in 1996, the New Venture Challenge is designed to encourage students to turn their entrepreneurial ideas into reality. This year, cash prizes of $50,000 were be awarded to student teams of entrepreneurs who submitted business plans showing significant promise and business potential.

The road to the finals began with 64 student groups, each with a business plan. During the spring quarter, the field was narrowed to 31. Only nine teams made the finals. Student teams had 15 minutes to pitch their plans to a panel of 19 judges made up of top venture capitalists and entrepreneurs from all over the U.S.

About the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship

The Michael P. Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship, located at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, supports entrepreneurial development through its cutting-edge curriculum, faculty research, experiential learning, and community outreach programs.

About the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business

The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business is one of the oldest and largest business schools in the world. It offers full-time and part-time MBA programs, a PhD program, and open enrollment executive education.

About Grubhub.com Website

Who Delivers? Grubhub.com seeks to answer this question with a unique restaurant delivery search. Users simply enter their location through an intuitive online interface and Grubhub.com displays all of the menus, coupons, and delivery information for every restaurant that delivers to that address. Using Grubhub.com is free and orders may be placed over the phone or through Grubhub’s online ordering system at no charge.

Grubhub has over 1300 delivery restaurants listed in Chicago and also covers Milwaukee, San Francisco, and New York City. Grubhub.com has been featured on NPR, Fox Morning News, and various online publications including the Chicagoist, the Sfist, Gapers Block, and Daily Candy.

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Matt Maloney
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