ASU Student Startup Named Finalist in 'Coolest College Startups' Competition

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Company is ASU’s third student startup in two years to reach finals

FlashFood logo
We believe we can use technology to revolutionize the process of food recovery in order to fight hunger and reduce food waste.

Arizona State University student startup FlashFood has been named a finalist in Inc. Magazine’s 2013 “America’s Coolest College Startups” competition.

FlashFood, part of ASU’s Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative based at ASU SkySong, is one of 12 finalists selected from student startups nominated by more than 30 universities across the country. The winner of the competition will be determined by online voting, with the startup receiving the most Facebook “Likes” by May 1 earning the title of “America’s Coolest College Startup.”

Voters can cast their votes for FlashFood at

FlashFood works to reduce food insecurity and the environmental impact of food waste by connecting restaurants, caterers and others with perishable food for donation with community organizations that serve the hungry. Donors use FlashFood’s mobile app to notify nearby community organizations when they have excess food to donate. The organizations coordinate pickup of the donations and alert community members via text message that food is arriving.    

“We are honored to be a finalist in this prestigious competition,” said FlashFood Executive Director Eric Lehnhardt, who founded the company with fellow ASU students Jake Irvin, Steven Hernandez, Katelyn Keberle, Ramya Baratam, Mary Hannah Smith and Loni Lehnhardt. “We believe we can use technology to revolutionize the process of food recovery in order to fight hunger and reduce food waste.”

ASU’s Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative helps students from all university disciplines accelerate their ventures by providing funding, office space and mentorship. FlashFood is the third Edson startup in two years to reach the finals in the “Coolest College Startups” competition. Edson companies Endless Entertainment (formerly Arizona Pro DJs) and G3Box were finalists in the 2012 competition, with Endless Entertainment winning the top prize.

About FlashFood (
FlashFood is a food recovery network, powered by social media, that feeds the hungry by collecting excess food from restaurants, caterers and conventions and delivering it to nearby community centers. By recovering excess food, FlashFood reduces food insecurity and the environmental impact of food waste.

About the Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative (
The Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative provides funding, office space and mentorship to teams of students from all university disciplines. This accelerator gives student entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop their innovative ideas and launch viable businesses. As an integral program of ASU Venture Catalyst in the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, the Edson accelerator gives students access to seasoned entrepreneurs, industry mentors and other Venture Catalyst programs that enable them to advance enterprise.

About ASU SkySong (
ASU SkySong impacts local, state and international economies by engaging the university with businesses and governments to drive economic development and global enterprise. ASU SkySong helps grow the economy through launching and accelerating new companies and promoting use-inspired research. ASU SkySong, and the dozens of emerging innovation-driven companies located there, are dedicated to positively impacting the economies of our state and the country for years to come.

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Gordon McConnell
ASU Venture Catalyst
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