FailUp is a virtual platform that connects local entrepreneurs and it recently hosted the FailUp to Startup Pitch Competition on Tulane University’s uptown campus. Eight student-led ventures took the stage, competing for $500 in startup funding. The winners were sophomore Luca Alessandrini and junior Eric March with their idea called Loc.le.
“We want Loc.le to be an app that includes all the aspects of a dining experience,” says Alessandrini. “Our goal and our mission is to make the dining experience smarter.”
Loc.le does this by focusing on the relationship between restaurants and their customers. Its vision is twofold: the platform plans to provide local restaurants with customized consumer feedback through the use of customer loyalty programs, and give consumers a place to share their food experiences with others.
According to Loc.le’s online page, “Loc.le shows consumers new restaurants in their area and offers them a promotion in exchange for a small feedback survey after the meal.” The application will also include social features that allow users to connect with their friends, share their favorite dishes and restaurants, and keep a food journal.
While the concept is simple, March emphasizes that Loc.le’s reliable consumer feedback is crucial to New Orleans restaurants, as the majority of them are locally-owned. “We want to be able to find a way for them [local restaurants] to get the same insights and the same kind of loyalty from customers as big [restaurant] chains,” says March. The feedback surveys on the app will be customized to individual restaurants, allowing businesses to gain specific desired insights.
The idea behind Loc.le developed rapidly once Alessandrini and March became a team. They met at a networking event hosted by FailUp just two weeks before the pitch competition.
“FailUp has sped up the entire entrepreneurial process significantly, connecting us with the resources that allow us to grow as a united creative community,” says Alessandrini. “FailUp has provided Loc.le [with] an incredible network of passionate individuals on Tulane’s campus who are motivated to create a better future for everyone.”
The student duo hopes that Loc.le will help connect restaurants more directly to their customers in a way that promotes better relationships between businesses and consumers, as well as between consumers and other consumers.
March and Alessandrini are currently detailing the logistics of their idea, reaching out to interested local restaurants, and seeking an interested software developer to create the Loc.le application.
FailUp Feature is a partnership between Silicon Bayou News and the FailUp blog.