Aidan Folbe (Class of 2015) has always been a high achiever. A current student at Dartmouth was a Frankel Jewish Academy standout in all phases – from academics to athletics to extra-curricular activities. His accomplishments included being an award-winning athlete on the soccer, golf, and basketball teams; a member of the National Honor Society; an active member of student government; and a principal in several business enterprises.
From these roots, Aidan’s interest in entrepreneurial endeavors led him to a summer internship at Navitas Capital, a venture capital firm in Los Angeles focusing on supporting information technology and energy initiatives. His business acumen increased and today Aidan is pursuing marketing and financing for a mobile app called FoodShare, a collaborative effort to link consumers and charitable outreaches through dining opportunities at various restaurants.
In fact, FoodShare was a finalist in a national competition entitled the “Mobileys.” To learn more about this click on http://themobileys.com and scroll down to Finalists to view the video; liking the video is a vote for FoodShare. NOTE: Voting ends Friday, November 13.
The inspiration for FoodShare, like so many other “inventions” came from a simple example of first-hand experience. “I was on a lunch break with a colleague, Andrew Glantz, and we noticed the restaurant was practically empty,” Aidan explained. “We started brainstorming a marketing platform to drive new customers to restaurants through financial incentives.”
While the idea was sound, the logistics were a bit more difficult. “We reviewed the initial model and the problems we encountered,” Aidan continued. In reflection, “donating a meal was seen as a larger reward for users than earning a few cents for completed referrals. We wanted to build a company that is both a solution to a problem, but also helps communities as well as businesses become more socially conscious. A lot of small restaurants cannot afford referral/loyalty programs and we provide one at a low cost.”
Aidan credits Frankel Jewish Academy for putting him on this path of personal growth and professional success. “FJA pushed me to get involved in volunteering opportunities which I think is a reason why I wanted a social aspect to FoodShare. In addition, FJA’s Entrepreneurship Club taught me a lot about the process of building a business,” he said.
Aidan credits his time at FJA as the impetus to undertake the risks (and rewards) associated with entrepreneurship, but also appreciates other skills he developed here and is in the process of perfecting. “I have learned to manage my time very efficiently, balancing both school and a business. I have to say, my emailing skills have improved immensely. I enjoy going to restaurants and meeting different restaurant owners.” To top it off, there are bonus advantages in creating a restaurant-oriented mobile app: “Sometimes we get free food, too!”
Next time: Several FJA students are involved in business projects. We’ll learn more about them in the weeks ahead.