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AMP YOUR GOOD : Startup Profile

December's feel-good dark horse winner

Contributed by NJ Tech Meetup member, Gil Olsen.
Normally, we profile 3 startups prior to their pitches to give some context.  As a last minute addittion to the pitches from #67, we didn't get a chance to do a write up on Amp Your Good.  If they lost the pitch-off, no one would be the wiser... but they stole the show, won the covetted audience choice award, so it's only fair to make sure they get some press as well.
Congrats to founder Pat Oneill on winning the pitch-off and best of luck!
Using startup analogy parlance, Amp Your Good is "like a combination of Kickstarter and gift registry for food drives".
It's pretty difficult to appreciate all the awesome things in the world when you are hungry enough to be thinking about nothing but your next meal.  That does'n't mean missing sushi catering at your startup and having to survive until happy hour apps... this means perpetually wondering where your next meal is going to come from.  For millions of people, this is a very real problem.
The traditional food drive has been helpful.  But just like pretty much anything else, if you add in a fresh perspective, some new ideas, and the internet you can make it even better.  The first thing that is worth calling out/admitting is that is that most of the food that gets donated is considered borderline inedible by the other side of the income distribution graph.  One huge barrier to this is that "Real Food" (fresh fruit/produce etc.) has a shelf life that won't survive the in-efficiencies of traditional food drives. 
In addittion, Old School food drives might collect "4 tonnes of food" and everyone would feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The problem is the end user- the families that are actually hungry, may not actually get the nutrient dense real food that they need. 
There's literally tons of waste, in food, time and money, but most of all, opportunity. 
Amp Your Good is a "crowdfeeding" platform that aims to solve these problems.  An organization hosts a drive on the Amp Your Good platform, and the needs are stated explicitly, down to the individual food item off the grocery shelf, similar to a gift registry.  Donors shop online at retail prices, and the items are delivered to the drive in bulk for distribution.  Families get what they need and the waste is minimized. 
The model seems sound, and the only thing that can make helping other people feel better is using technology to eliminate waste and make everything more efficient and convenient in the process.
It will be interesting to see how business can expand outside the traditional food drive seasons around the Holidays, and what issues (vetting beneficiaries, delivery logistics, new markets, etc.)  
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
  • Check out their site
  • Refer your communities food drives to check it out and host drives
  • Test it out, give some food and send the team some feedback.
  • Congratulate Pat O'Neill on taking the win.
Let us know how it goes, we're looking to feature stories of connections made through the group!
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