Foodmaven.

Author:Peterson, Eric
Position:TECH STARTUP
 
FREE EXCERPT

WHERE: COLORADO SPRINGS

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

WEB: WWW.FOODMAVEN.COM

FOUNDED: OCTOBER 2015

INITIAL LIGHT BULB:

After serving as CEO of CodeBaby and other venture-backed tech companies in Colorado Springs, FoodMaven founder Patrick Bultema turned his focus from digital to food.

"I'm a kid who grew up in an ag family," says Bultema, who was raised on a ranch in Northern California. "I grew up at the front end of the food system."

Now he's trying to reinvent the back end. After a stint working at Colorado College, a student group developed a food rescue program that catalyzed the idea for FoodMaven. "The USDA estimates that 40 percent of all agricultural production is lost," Bultema says. "A third of the waste in landfills is food."

FoodMaven counters the problem with a data-centric, algorithm-optimized platform aimed at getting food to the dinner table instead of the garbage can. "Our premise is to capture this food that's getting lost," Bultema says. "We're looking to create this flexible, agile complement to the food system."

IN A NUTSHELL:

Bultema says FoodMaven is "applying Amazon-style logistics and internet-enabled technology" to sell three kinds of food: oversupply, "imperfects" from retailers and manufacturers, and local foods that lack regional distribution. "We've got relationships in place with most of the big distribution centers," Bultema says.

Products for sale on the website include a wide range of produce and protein, as well as dairy products, baked goods and drinks. A recent visit found stockpiles of turkey drumsticks, organic bread, canned chickpeas, cherry juice and chocolate-cherry bonbons--and much more.

FoodMaven's customers include more than 120 restaurants in Colorado Springs plus a growing number in Denver, as well as larger users like hospitals, school districts and retirement homes. Bultema says the price is usually 40...

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