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Biz417, "The eFactory's Newest Investments"

Three local companies are getting a big boost from The eFactory by participating in the second round of its accelerator program

The eFactory will invest $30,000 for 8% equity into each company and also offer office space, business consulting, a mentor network and more. The fun begins on February 6 and Demo Day takes place on May 1 at The Gallery at the Gillioz Theatre. 
 

Apt Crowd

A solution focused text analytics company targeting engineering technical communities. They apply advanced text analytics algorithms that improve Q&A forum outcomes by connecting users with quicker answers, expert users, and relevant vendors.
Based out of Springfield, MO
Founder: Chad Boschert
 

Let’s Do Lunch

An effective and efficient way to strategically and intentionally organize all of the important personal and business lunches people should be having. 
Based out of Springfield, MO
Founder: Hector Cruz
 

Pull Up A Seat

A private community marketplace that allows people to find on-demand home cooking for anyone, by anyone.
Relocating from Orlando, FL
Founder: Camille Baker
 

Reaction

A mobile first survey platform seeking to make surveys quick and easy. Surveys take place in the store, on the customer’s mobile device, and offer instant savings.
Relocating from Birmingham, AL
Founder: Stuart Emerson
 

Solely Jolie

A water-free solution to keeping makeup brushes clear and clean.
Based out of Springfield, MO
Founder: Amy Blansit

Source: Click Here Or http://www.biz417.com/Biz417/Jan-Feb-2017/eFactory-Cohorts/

Springfield-News Leader, "eFactory animus 5 companies to latest round of Accelerator Program"

The eFactory, Missouri State University's entrepreneurship center and business incubator, has named the companies that will go through the second round of its business accelerator program.

The five companies are:

• Apt Crowd describes itself as a "solution focused text analytics company targeting engineering technical communities." The company, founded by Chad Boschert, says its analytics algorithms can "improve Q&A forum outcomes by connecting users with quicker answers, expert users, and relevant vendors."

• Let's Do Lunch is "an effective and efficient way to strategically and intentionally organize all of the important personal and business lunches people should be having." The company was founded by Hector Cruz.

• Pull Up A Seat is a "private community marketplace that allows people to find on-demand home cooking for anyone, by anyone." The company was founded by Camille Baker.

• Reaction, founded by Stuart Emerson, is "a mobile first survey platform seeking to make surveys quick and easy."

 

• Solely Jolie, founded by Amy Blansit, describes itself as "a water-free solution to keeping makeup brushes clear and clean."

Apt Crowd, Let’s Do Lunch and Solely Jolie are Springfield-area companies, according to an eFactory news release. Pull Up A Seat is relocating from Orlando, and Reaction is relocating from Birmingham, Alabama.

Accelerator programs generally aim to speed growth of early stage companies by providing expertise and capital. Companies selected for the eFactory's accelerator receive a $30,000 investment — in addition to other perks such as office space — in exchange for 8 percent equity.

Want to meet the founders? The eFactory will host a free open house to introduce the accelerator companies on Feb. 6 from 5 to 7 p.m.

 

Source: Click Here Or http://www.news-leader.com/story/news/business/2017/01/15/efactory-names-5-companies-latest-round-accelerator-program/96535406/

E-Factory, Introducing The e-Factory Accelerator Cohort #2

We’re excited to announce the companies in Cohort #2 in The eFactory Accelerator that will begin February 6th.

Apt Crowd (Founder – Chad Boschert) is a solution focused text analytics company targeting engineering technical communities. They apply advanced text analytics algorithms that improve Q&A forum outcomes by connecting users with quicker answers, expert users, and relevant vendors.

Let’s Do Lunch (Founder – Hector Cruzis an effective and efficient way to strategically and intentionally organize all of the important personal and business lunches people should be having.

Pull Up A Seat (Founder – Camille Baker) is a private community marketplace that allows people to find on-demand home cooking for anyone, by anyone.

Reaction (Founder – Stuart Emerson) is a mobile first survey platform seeking to make surveys quick and easy. Surveys take place in the store, on the customer’s mobile device, and offer instant savings.

Solely Jolie (Founder – Amy Blansitis a water-free solution to keeping makeup brushes clear and clean.

Apt Crowd, Let’s Do Lunch and Solely Jolie are local companies. Pull Up A Seat is relocating from Orlando, FL and Reaction is relocating from Birmingham, AL.

We will be hosting an open house to introduce the accelerator companies (free and open to everyone) on Monday, February 6th from 5-7 pm at The eFactory. Demo Day for Cohort #2 will take place on Monday, May 1st at 10 am at The Gallery at the Gillioz Theatre (free and open to everyone).

You can read the full press release here.

Source: Click Here Or http://efactory.missouristate.edu/introducing-the-efactory-accelerator-cohort-2/

Black Main Street, "Camille Baker Creates App to Deliver Home-Cooked Meals"

 

At just 24-years-old and a recent graduate of Florida A&M University, Camille Baker is well on her way to being a successful entrepreneur. She has created an app called Pull-Up-A-Seat, which delivers home-cooked meals from specifically chosen network members. Although she graduated Florida A&M with a business degree, she was able to develop the app herself. When asked how this was possible, Camille said “I went to preparatory school. They taught us [computer] languages, but I took it a step further. Being a black girl in an all-white school, I found a lot of the community online, and people who were into hacking and coding.”

Camille says her app is “a private community marketplace that allows anyone to sell home cooking on-demand to any and everyone.” The way the app works is that all those who are chosen to be food preparers are able to charge and keep 100% of their sales, while Camille’s company makes money through in-app ads.

In order to further develop her business, Camille was accepted into a business accelerator called eFactory. The accelerator is guiding her on ways to grow her business model and has supplied her with additional funding. While she was accepted into several other accelerators, Camille chose eFactory because they “offered the most money, with [taking] the least amount of equity.”

When questions about potential liabilities such as less-than hygienic home cooks or someone receiving tainted food came up, Camille said her parents advised her to hire a lawyer and utilize an intense screening process for food preparers or “hosts” as they’re called in the app.

After downloading the app from the App Store, Camille said “when you sign up, you can sign up as a foodie or a host. Hosts go through background checks—someone actually goes to the home and checks it out.” As a host, you’re able to build your portfolio by having the community rate and review your meals, and also showcase previous meals you have made.

The app is currently only available for use in certain areas of Florida but Camille said she’s eager to expand her business model in the near future. She said, “I feel like this is something that everyone around the world can benefit from.”

For more information on Camille’s business, click here.

 

Source: Click Here or https://blackmainstreet.net/camille-baker-creates-app-deliver-home-cooked-meals/

Black Enterprise, "She Made the Uber of Home-Cooked Food"

If you could use an app to find home-cooked meals nearby and have that food delivered, would you do so?

Camille Baker is betting you would. She is the developer and founder of Pull-Up-A-Seat: think of it as the Uber of home-cooked meals, currently available in the App Store.

Baker describes the app as, “A private community marketplace that allows anyone to sell home cooking on-demand to any and everyone.”

Some use-case scenarios for Pull-Up-A-Seat:

  • A professional who has to leave work late, and doesn’t have many delivery options after they get home.
  • A budget-strapped college student, who misses home-cooking.
  • An older, single person, who loves to cook and may want to share their meal with someone.
  • A tourist that wants to experience an area’s local cuisine.
  • A home baker, who wants to start selling baked goods.

Those preparing and sharing meals can charge and keep 100% of the money they make. Baker’s company makes revenue through transactions and in-app ads.

The 24-year-old recently graduated Florida A&M with a degree in business. Although she isn’t a computer science or engineering major, she coded the app herself. “I went to preparatory school. They taught us [computer] languages, but I took it a step further. Being a black girl in an all-white school, I found a lot of the community online, and people who were into hacking and coding.”

Recently, Baker was accepted into an accelerator called eFactory. The accelerator is helping her take her business to the next level, and it even supplied her with additional funding. She was actually accepted into a number of accelerators with her app, but eFactory “offered the most money, with [taking] the least amount of equity,” she explains.

Baker’s goal is to provide “on-demand home cooking for anyone by anyone.” Since launching in August, she has already seen clever uses. “We saw a sorority using it to do a food drive. People who couldn’t stop by were buying through the app.”

About potential trouble, such as less-than hygienic home cooks or someone receiving tainted food, Baker credits her parents for insisting she hire a lawyer as well as utilize an intense vetting process for food preparers—or “hosts,” as they are called in the app. “When you sign up, you can sign up as a foodie or a host,” she says. “Hosts go through background checks—someone actually goes to the home and checks it out.”

Additionally, hosts can build their portfolios within the app, showing past food they have made. As with many services of this category, hosts are subject to the community’s ratings and reviews, with those with the best ratings being sought the most.

Baker says, at the accelerator, she was advised to make sure anything concerning liability or insurance issues was “airtight.”

Currently, the app only caters to the Florida area, but Baker is very focused on building an active user base. Eventually, she hopes to offer some kind of subscription model, “but nothing to drive away current or new customers,” says the business major.

 

 

 

Source: Click Here Or http://www.blackenterprise.com/technology/pull-up-a-seat-home-cooked-food/

Orlando Sentinel, "NEW APP LETS USERS FIND, HOST HOME-COOKED COKED MEALS IN ORLANDO"

A new app will make the awkward task of inviting yourself over for dinner at a neighbor’s home a thing of the past.

Pull-Up-a-Seat” lets people find homecooked meals posted by hosts at local homes and businesses. 

“It’s just a great way of bring people together through food and the dinner table,” said Camille Baker, the app’s founder.

People are used to the sharing community - opening up their cars with apps like Uber or Lyft or their homes with apps like Airbnb.

They’re also on the go more and don’t have as much time to make a homecooked meal, Baker said. This app connects them to affordable fare.

“Orlando people love to cook,” she said. “They also love social dining.”

While the app touts social meals, takeout options are available as well.

Pull-Up-a-Seat also gives would-be chefs an outlet - and a way to make money.

“Now they have a place where they can be put in the faces of people,” she said.

Cooks ("hosts") and foodies can sign up on the app itself.

Hosts are interviewed and their homes are visited by app employees before allowing them to post meal listings.

Baker hopes the app will go international one day to help bring people to authentic food and new experiences.

“I feel like this is something that everyone around the world can benefit from,” Baker said.

Source: Click Here Or http://www.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment/restaurants/foodie/os-new-app-lets-users-find-host-home-cooked-meals-in-orlando-20160829-story.html

Startup roundup: 4 local firms talk food, friendship and boats

Cabe Nolan loves being out in the open sea, but when he's ready to bring his water vessel in, he sometimes has trouble finding an available dock.

"I noticed how difficult it was to find docks outside the typical marina and some of what you do find is run down," Nolan told Orlando Business Journal. "I started seeing that I was passing dozens of boat docks that don't have boats, and I wondered how I could connect people like me to those docks."

Nolan created an online service called Dock Skipper— an idea he calls the Airbnb of docking service — a peer-to-peer platform for dock owner to list their property to boaters in need of one.

Nolan launched the app in January. While 500 people are signed up for the service, he has more than 50 people listing their docks.

Nolan's company was one of four that presented at Orlando Tech Association'sOrlando Tech Meetup on June 16 — a way for the local tech community to showcase up and coming firms and for the presenting owners to pitch their service and perhaps gain new users.

The monthly meetup is also a way for tech entrepreneurs to gather feedback about their service that may help them overcome challenges.

Nolan said his company is facing the problem of connecting with his correct audience. Being a young company that thrives from a generally new idea of a peer-to-peer model, he said he's facing the challenge of gaining the older audience. "Most people have heard of Airbnb, but the interesting thing is their average age are people in their 30s. People that use a boat are normally in their 50s," he said. "Even though this [peer-to-peer concept] may be a common concept to some, it's not common to others."

While listing a dock through the service is free, Dock Skipper charges 4 percent of the price to the user that reserves a dock and 4 percent to dock owners once a transaction is completed. The service is entirely web-based, but Nolan said he working on creating an official app as well.

 

Orlando Tech Association's blog listed the other tech firms that presented, too.Here's a look:

  • Friendish: A friending app that connects users with people around them who share common interests.
  • Familink: This helps you stay connected with loops, where you can create quick posts, which make keeping people updated easier than texting.
  • Pull Up a Seat: Pull-Up-A-Seat is a food app that allows you to find anyone cooking in a 20-mile radius of you and simply "pull up a seat." Via dine-in, delivery and takeout, you are now in control of what food you want, when you want it and how you experience or share it.

 

Source: Click Here Or http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/2016/06/17/startup-roundup-4-local-firms-talk-food-friendship.html