Many of us still walk through the grocery store and smile with nostalgia when we come across that giant box of ramen instant noodles. How could we not? It was always available, easily prepared, and cost next to nothing.
But doesn’t today’s college student deserve better? Shail Bhatt and Ali Mirza, co-founders of FiveOH! certainly think so. FiveOH! is a free mobile app that helps college students find an alternative to ramen noodles that won’t break the bank—all options on the app are under five bucks.
If you’re anything like me you’re thinking “but don’t we already have Yelp?” Turns out, competing with Yelp isn’t really what the app is trying to accomplish. Mirza explained that the idea for the app first came to him when he was an international student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
“Yelp connects users to a restaurant location. FiveOH connects users to the food items at restaurants,” co-founder Ali Mirza said. If you are concerned with the service of the restaurant, want opinions from other patrons, or are questioning if they have a gluten free option, then this app is probably not for you.
Mirza and his team receive constant feedback on how intuitive and simple the interface is and recently the company caught the attention of an MIT student who says he “would love this out in Cambridge and Boston.”Although only available in Texas (for now), FiveOH! has about 20% of DFW area restaurants listed on the app with plans to expand. “We are expanding our data from 45k items to half a million items by the end of this year,” Mirza added. Their marketing plans include grassroots efforts on college campuses and the team is working with UT-Dallas students to host events that will spread the word about their app.
FiveOH was the winner of Denton Startup Weekend 2014. They went on to be accepted by Collide Village, the Addison-based accelerator that offers every accepted company $75K in funding, access to a network of investors and mentors, and free office space for four months.