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Student startup named finalist in 'Coolest College Startups' competition

March 14, 2013

ASU student startup FlashFood has been named a finalist in Inc. Magazine’s 2013 “America’s Coolest College Startups” competition.

FlashFood, part of ASU’s Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative based at ASU SkySong, is one of 12 finalists selected from student startups nominated by more than 30 universities across the country. The winner of the competition will be determined by online voting, with the startup receiving the most Facebook “Likes” by May 1 earning the title of “America’s Coolest College Startup.”

Voters can cast their votes for FlashFood at

FlashFood works to reduce food insecurity and the environmental impact of food waste by connecting restaurants, caterers and others with perishable food for donation with community organizations that serve the hungry. Donors use FlashFood’s mobile app to notify nearby community organizations when they have excess food to donate. The organizations coordinate pickup of the donations and alert community members via text message that food is arriving.    

“We are honored to be a finalist in this prestigious competition,” said Eric Lehnhardt, FlashFood executive director, who founded the company with fellow ASU students Jake Irvin, Steven Hernandez, Katelyn Keberle, Ramya Baratam, Mary Hannah Smith and Loni Lehnhardt. “We believe we can use technology to revolutionize the process of food recovery in order to fight hunger and reduce food waste.”

ASU’s Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative helps students from all university disciplines accelerate their ventures by providing funding, office space and mentorship. FlashFood is the third Edson startup in two years to reach the finals in the “Coolest College Startups” competition. Edson companies Endless Entertainment (formerly Arizona Pro DJs) and G3Box were finalists in the 2012 competition, with Endless Entertainment winning the top prize.