Tulane graduate Sean O’Neill is preparing for the launch of his first startup, Couchster. Couchster is an online food ordering site which allows customers to view menus and place orders all through the company’s website or mobile app.
The startup was born out of the idea to make ordering good food easy and more accessible. Couchster currently has around 100 menus and is adding more daily. O’Neill’s plan is to launch on December 17th, but the menus up on the site are available for viewing now.
When asked about funding, O’Neill said, “I’m a strong believer in not seeking funding until you’ve proven your idea, so when I moved back to New Orleans in February 2011 wanting to start a company, but lacking the money, I got a job instead. I worked 8-5 for a little over a year, saving every penny I could while refining my idea, and ultimately quit to start working full time on Couchster in June 2012.”
O’Neill is Couchster’s only current full time employee. With one back end and one front end developer, in addition to two salespeople currently in contract, the business is already off to a good start considering the site has not even launched yet. Overall, he has had good luck with programmers while developing Couchster.
Couchster’s original programmer was a LSU graduate named Jordan Garcie, who now works full time at a downtown software firm in New Orleans. Garcie will occasionally do work for O’Neill and Couchster, but they have also hired another developer based out of Florida who does most of the back end work now.
Six months down the road, O’Neill hopes Couchster will be established in New Orleans with a set of apps to go along with the mobile site. Once established, the company will have an opportunity to expand throughout Louisiana to cities such as Baton Rouge or Shreveport. If that expansion is a success, there is a possibility to expand beyond only Louisiana.