Two young entrepreneurs, who are UTSA grads, are tackling a global epidemic by thinking outside the box.
Matt Galvan and Miles Lerch are on a mission to change the world starting right here in Texas. The friends who are now business partners have the drive to succeed.
"We are both hard-headed," Lerch said. "Once we see something, we definitely want to shoot for it."
The two met in an entrepreneurship class at UTSA. As an assignment, they were tasked to come up with a business. Their original idea was a food delivery service to college campuses but that idea led them to something bigger.
"We just kept researching and digging and digging, and then like, wow, food waste on a global level is huge," Galvan said.
They took their research and then applied it to Texas public schools, grades K-12.
"An average Texas high school throws away anywhere between $105 to upwards of $175,000 worth of food in one year," Galvan said.
And that's when the lightbulb went off. The two took a major risk and founded a start-up business. They developed an app CafeEDU.
"We want to make it interactive for students," Lerch said. "And I know a big push for educational systems now is making everything interactive."
This app would allow a student to select their meal, and then it would go directly to the school cafeteria, allowing the workers to know exactly how much food to make for the day.
"Whenever they start preparation for the day, they will not only have a list of total bulk items, but individual items that help with their audits," Galvan said. “Because they do everything by hand right now. It is so outdated. The system is so archaic."
The app has been out for nearly a year. And right now, the dynamic duo are in talks with districts in various parts of the state. Their next goal is to get the app in San Antonio schools.
"Food waste is a global epidemic, and it’s not just tailored towards schools," Galvan said. "We have gotten calls from hotels, we've gotten calls from restaurants. I’ve even gotten calls from the military."
The app is like a second job for the 23-year-olds but they aren't slowing down.
"It is really about who we are helping," Lerch said. "I think that is why we get immersed in it all."
"We always think big, and we dream even bigger,” Galvan said. “And that's why we won't stop until CafeEDU is in districts all across the country."