I came up with the idea right out of college: basically, Fandango for food. I was working in Johannesburg and saw how fast mobile banking was growing. I thought about getting food on the go, and the experience of having 30 people in front of you at Starbucks. My company would save your credit-card information and let you text your order, so it’s ready and paid for by the time you get in.
One of our first angel investors said, “If you really want to do this, we’ll back you, but there’s one condition: You have to drop out of Harvard Business School. Not just defer—withdraw.” I hadn’t yet started, and my mom thought this was the craziest thing in the world, but it took no hesitation. I became CEO of GoMobo in September 2005. We launched at a coffee shop on the Yale campus. By the next year, we were in New York, but very guerrilla—I was down on Wall Street with a couple people we found on Craigslist, literally wearing sandwich boards and yelling and handing out flyers.
This year, we’ve made corporate deals with Burger King, Subway, and Dunkin’ Donuts—and are now in 464 locations nationwide. We launched our iPhone app in May, and there’ve been tens of thousands of downloads since. Our next frontier is in car-navigation systems. It’s cool how things start to build. I mean, the economy is terrible, and yet new technology keeps emerging, which means there’s more new stuff to try.
If GoMobo’s deals go national, Glass hopes to have 5,000 restaurants signed up at year’s end.
As told to Emma Rosenblum
Have good intel? Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.