Restaurant technology start-up companies got their chance to shine at MURTEC’s first-ever Start-Up Alley, executed by the Restaurant Technology Network (RTN) and sponsored by Comcast Business.
RTN’s Start-Up Alley Lineup consisted of 15 fierce competitors and covered restaurant tech topics like smart ordering, AI-enabled loyalty, voice and predictive analytics, private event engagement, guest and chat platforms, smart tech procurement, tip distribution, TV commercial interruption and replacement, hand hygiene and consumer digital engagement.
How Start-Up Alley Works
Our panel of judges included Astrid Isaacs, VP of Technology, Bloomin’ Brands; Susan Lucas, SVP of Technology, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants; and John Robinson, Director of Retail Technology, Sonic Drive-In. The contestants were judged on Level of Innovation, Practical Application, Ease of Implementation, Lifecycle and Wildcard (judges’ discretionary points). The judges narrowed the field to the top three, who then pitched live on stage where real-time audience votes determined the winner.
Joining me on stage to introduce the live pitch session were Madura Wijewardena, Managing Director, Comcast Ventures and Ray Hatch, VP and Business Enterprise Solutions, Comcast Business. “We are always looking at the disruption going on in the restaurant space,” commented Wijewardena. “First, these start-ups look at what restaurants need, but in a new way. The entrepreneurs themselves are filled with optimism and a can-do spirit. That was really striking, and these are the two things we look for when investing.”
And The Winner Is...
After hearing all three pitches, the audience voted, and the winner was PathSpot, a real-time hand hygiene management solution. Co-Founder & CEO Christine Schindler was very impressive, and the hand hygiene solution could not have been more timely. “As more customers and employees have learned how illnesses, such as coronavirus, are transmitted, it’s inspiring to see restaurants step-up and emphasize their commitment to safety,” commented Schindler.