Contegix, a managed hosting and Internet infrastructure company, recently announced NoWait as the winner of the Start-up, Boot-upTM competition. NoWait, a cloud-based seating management service for restaurants, is one of dozens of start-up companies that were vying for the more than $75,000 in “Enterprize” technology tools and office space. The Start-Up, Boot-Up competition was created out of Contegix’s passion for entrepreneurship and the company’s knowledge of the unique challenges in starting a technology business.
“NoWait’s application to the Start-up, Boot-up competition shows both the power of the cloud and how to solve a frustration most of us have dealt with, and do it in an innovative and simple way,” said Matthew Porter, CEO of Contegix. “As we have seen with many of our own customers, 100% up- time is critical to their business, and their business is managed entirely in the cloud. NoWait has already demonstrated a sound business concept, a growth strategy, superior developer skills and a passionate commitment to their business, so we are excited to help them on their entrepreneurial journey with our award package.”
Focusing on casual dining restaurants, NoWait executes the complete seating process. The host enters the customer name and sends a text message when their table is free. This gives the restaurant the ability to better retain walk-in traffic during busier times as well as potential of additional marketing engagements inside the establishment and post-dining communications. Since this cloud solution takes the place of pagers, it is less expensive to get started and to maintain.
Since the company’s launch in early 2010, NoWait has received startup attention. Last summer, NoWait was accepted into the AlphaLab accelerator program, which helps startup companies launch quickly and strongly. Their product became the first iPad application to help casual dining restaurants manage their seating process in the cloud.
“NoWait takes the frustration out of the seating process at casual dining restaurants by using text messages.” said Robb Myer, CEO of NoWait. “We want to give guests a better experience and help restaurants manage their traffic so they stop losing customers when their wait list gets too long. To date, we have focused on product design and development. We need to update our back-end services to a professional grade solution as we get ready to scale for our next 100 clients, and winning this competition will help get us there.”
AlphaLab is the startup accelerator created by Innovation Works to help capital-efficient startup companies launch quickly and successfully. Twice a year up to six companies in the software, web, mobile, entertainment technology, or hardware space are selected to participate in an intensive 20-week program. During these weeks companies will rapidly iterate on their products and work with mentors, advisors, and the AlphaLab team to hone their business models. The program culminates in the AlphaLab Demo Day: a chance for companies to pitch what they’ve been working on to angel investors, VCs, and press outlets from around the nation.
Startups in the AlphaLab program receive: Companies receive $25,000 from Innovation Works in exchange for 5% common stock in their company. Innovation Works (IW) is AlphaLab’s parent organization and the Pittsburgh region’s largest and most active seed-stage investor. Since 1999, IW has invested over $50 million in over 150 companies including ModCloth, Vivisimo, Bossa Nova, ShowClix, and Deeplocal.
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Jonathan runs Visibility Initiatives at the Pittsburgh Technology Council. The Council is the nation’s largest IT trade association with 1,350 members. One of our platforms is to provide visibility to Pittsburgh tech companies and the industry in general.