A new app, which helps diners book restaurant tables at the last minute and at a discounted price, has won two awards and is through to the final of a national business competition.
Developed by students from The University of Salford, FlexyDine offers customers the chance to book a last minute table at any restaurant which is part of the app.
It also has a search function so users can find the nearest restaurant from where they are.
The team – made up of Salford Business School students Adam Karow, Georgy Bickerdyke, Suleiman Duale, Joseph Laisby, Cristinel Mateias, Mohammad Jaberansari and Hamza Shah – were victorious in two pitching competitions: the Santander Pitch It and the Incubox Kickfactor contest.
The seven business school students have won over £1000 towards their idea, as well as professional mentoring and business support.
Their first victory came at the Santander Pitch It competition, when they impressed the judging panel so much that they won and will now represent Salford at the national Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards.
Just weeks later they won the Kickfactor, held at Media City and sponsored by Wildings Solicitors and Incubox in partnership with Salford Enterprise team and Salford Business School.
The Kickfactor competition was integrated by lecturers Dr Aleksej Heinze, Dr Marie Griffiths and Alex Fenton, with a final year eCommerce Consulting and Practice module assignment for the BSc (Hons) Business Information Technology students.
Dr Aleksej Heinze, eCommerce Consulting and Practice module leader said: “Integrating a national competition in a final year module assignment allowed our students to step up and use all knowledge from their Business Information Technology degree to use in developing this business idea.
“Needless to say that the FlexyDine winning team have done incredibly well on their module marks too.”
Suleiman Duale of FlexyDine said: “We have been working on this app together for over a year and in that time it has evolved into what we see now.
“Our app will allow restaurant owners to get greater exposure for their establishments and the chance to ensure less table space is wasted, while diners get the ease and convenience of being able to book a table at the last minute, and usually at a discounted price.
“The process of winning these two competitions was intense yet rewarding. Winning both competitions has boosted the moral of the team and with the support and investment from both Wildings and Santander we can cover base start-up costs of the company and move forward from there. We have received great support from the Enterprise Team at Salford as well, they really helped us to hone our pitching skills. There are over 5000 restaurants in Manchester alone, so the potential for Flexydine is huge.”
Kid Harwood from Wildings Solicitors and Incubox said: “Wildings is proud to be supporting an event like Kickfactor at Media City which brought together Entrepreneurs and business people alike.
“At Incubox innovation and entrepreneurship is a huge part of our culture. We are actively seeking to invest and support local talent. Thank you for this fantastic opportunity of working with Salford University Students culminating in the Kickfactor 2016 finals at Media City. We are looking forward to working with the winners.”