Food Moves Founder Joel Cettina discusses his company during the New Jersey Technology Council's 2016 Internet of Things Conference.
TRENTON (April 28, 2016) – More than 30 entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to pitch their companies to angel and venture capital investors at next week’s NJ Founders & Funders event, hosted by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA). When Montclair-based Food Moves Founder Joel Cettina speaks to investors at the May 4 event, it will be the second pitch event for his seed-stage business in two weeks. The company was also selected to pitch to investors at the New Jersey Technology Council’s (Tech Council) Internet of Things conference, held Tuesday at Princeton University.
With the slogan “If your food moves, we’ll find it,” Food Moves offers a mobile marketplace for food trucks that brings together trucks' real-time location information and live menus, content from food blogs around the Internet, and information about mobile vendors like farmers' markets. Food Moves provides a mobile platform to help these mobile food businesses increase their visibility online. The app is currently available for iOS users, and plans are underway to unveil an Android app as early as next month.
Held at the EDA’s Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies (CCIT), semi-annual NJ Founders & Funders events introduce entrepreneurs to investors in 10-minute one-on-one “speed dating” match ups, paving the way for these emerging companies to attain the funding they need to grow in the state. To date, more than 120 entrepreneurs have met with investors during the four prior NJ Founders & Funders events.
“Designed specifically for startups, NJ Founders and Funders events enable entrepreneurs to not only seek funding, but also gain invaluable insight from experienced investors,” EDA Chief Executive Officer Melissa Orsen said. “The event furthers the EDA’s goal of connecting emerging technology and biotechnology businesses like Food Moves with the resources they need to thrive and grow in the state.”
Entrepreneurs interested in attending a future NJ Founders & Funders event can register at https://application.njeda.com/tls/.
In building up Food Moves, Founder Joel Cettina, a graduate of Rowan University, is not only filling a need in the marketplace, he’s also cultivating the next generation of entrepreneurs. Although the company consists solely of a three-person management team, Food Moves utilizes several interns and Cettina has said he is looking to add eight or nine more people, including event coordinators, targeting college students interested in entrepreneurship. Calling the students “the most ambitious and talented young people I've met,” he gives them projects and provides them with a steady system of support.
Food Moves was one of 14 finalists to make pitches at the Tech Council’s Internet of Things conference earlier this week. The conference focused on technologies such as smart sensors, wearable technology, driverless cars, and virtual networks, which are becoming integrated into every aspect of society.
@NJEDATech spoke with Cettina about his company’s experience in New Jersey:
What made you decide to grow your business in New Jersey?
New Jersey is my home and when I cooked up this idea (no pun intended) from my apartment in Montclair, I knew this state would be a great place to grow this company. Ideally situated, New Jersey offers a great location to capture both the Philadelphia and New York City markets. Being close to my family was important too; you can never underestimate the support system your family provides you.
What New Jersey resources have you found most helpful to date?
To be honest, I haven’t yet taken advantage of all the resources that New Jersey has to offer. That being said, the EDA has been a constant source of support. It was EDA Senior Venture Officer Tim Rollender who encouraged me to apply to the Internet of Things Conference and who helped secure my spot at the NJ Founders & Funders meeting next week. The New Jersey Food Truck Association (NJFTA) has been absolutely pivotal in supporting what we are doing. NJTFA President Jon Hepner has been superb, helping us get in front of New Jersey food truck owners and understanding the vision for Food Moves.
What’s on the horizon for Food Moves?
In one word…“growth.” Growth of our product: We are looking to provide mobile business owners with a suite of features built specifically for them from the ground up. Growth into new cities: We want to bring Food Moves coast to coast and provide users with the most comprehensive database for mobile business in the country. Growth for the industry: we didn’t build Food Moves to sit back and watch this industry unfold, we are going to get our hands dirty and help this industry grow, and help loosen regulations that are slowing these businesses growth. Lastly, growth internally, we are going to build a great team and a first-class culture with an emphasis on respect, independence and accountability. I’m excited for what’s on the horizon. It will definitely be a fun ride.
The EDA offers a multitude of resources to help technology companies grow and thrive. To learn about these resources, visit http://www.njeda.com/tls and follow @NJEDATech on Twitter and LinkedIn.