While reading the Tech Section of Forbes I stumbled on a August article referring to the 2011 summer Class of Y combinator. Successful incubators mentors between six and twelve startup companies for 3 to 4 month Period. When I read that YCombinator was attempting to mentor sixty-three startups in their Summer Camp of 2011, I thought to myself “How will that bepossible?”
Paul Graham and his YCombinator team have done such a great job helping young entreprenuers and their fledgling ideas to get them off the ground. Some founders enter the program with raw ideas and no prototype, market proof and no business model, just a concept. Some startups are further along with a working product or service and small amounts of revenue coming in.
Munchonme.com One of YC’s Sixty-Three Startups
One of sixty-three startups that caught my eye was a company with an intriguing name called Munchonme.com I clicked thru the link only to be pleasantly surprised to see an elegant beautiful website with decadent photos of some really good looking desserts.
I don’t normally cover the daily deal space but since the Groupon IPO I thought I would at least see what their value proposition was. It was around 8:30pm in the evening and their Chat Live box was sitting in the lower right hand corner of the screen. Being the curious sort, I typed in a quick message and immediately got a response back! WOW! This was an unexpected surprise. I assumed I would not get answer back until the next day. It was Jason Wang CEO and Co-founder himself. We chatted a bit on how gorgeous the site looked and the user interface worked well. Jason credits Co-founder Andy Zhang for the Elegant designs.
Tell me a little more about Munch On Me?
Jason Wang agreed to a phone interview and we spoke in depth a few days later. Jason explains how he and 3 other Berkeley students simply wanted to solve the question “What Should I Eat today?” He further explains they were strategic in launching in densely populated cities like Berkeley, San Franscisco, New York, Boston, West Los Angeles, They are currently in 7 markets with a roadmap to hit Cities like San Diego, Portland, Chicago and Austin by second quarter 2012.
When I asked about their Ycombinator experience He told me that Paul Graham was very diligent about all the startups getting “Office Hours” and quality time with him or one of the many alumni who come back and pay it forward to the next batch. The alumni help by prepping new startups for the interview process. They also guide them in answering questions from Marketing to term sheets advice.
What’s the unique difference between Munch On Me and Groupon or Living Social?
Munch on Me is strictly focused on Food and daily dishes. Meals that you eat every day sofrequency is key for them. Groupon and Living Social have different variety of products from hour long Massages to unique life experiences like sky diving. Groupon and Living Social uses the power of group buying and get the merchant to discount heavily. So if a daily deal is done at 50% of the retail price. Groupon and the merchant split the remaining 50%. After the cost to produce or the merchant expenses in most cases it leaves virtually no profit. The statistic are starting to come in and the type of customer that uses Groupon is Not nessarily returning for a repeat visit. They tend to wander to the next daily deal so the Merchant does not recoup their costs. This often leads to a bad taste in daily deals.
Jason informed me that 75% of the users that come in for their “Freebie Dish” will buy additional food,so they merchant has a greater likeihood of making a profit and covering costs. The user knows what they are getting into with a “Featured Dish” The Merchant knows ahead of time the profit margin on the Dish before the campaign begins. He stated an unbelievable 100% positive Merchant experience so far with over 400 featured dishes. Go to their site Every Monday to see what NEW EXOTIC DISHES will be featured.
Facebook Events seems to be their social media platform of choice due to Friends sharing where and who they are eating with. From one event they acquired an early customer, Sunrise Deli. Jason gave me permission to publish the stunning results of the Sunrise Deli Case Study. All they need to do is duplicate and they will have seemed to solve the Daily Deal Dilemma. See thisFlowtown’s blog post.
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