An app designed by a University of Dundee student to reduce food waste by listing in real time surplus items is looking to secure a place at a prestigious sustainability competition and attract investment to catalyse its growth.
Foodito, a mobile-based app developed by second-year student Donavere Benjamin-Mohan and a team of fellow students from across the UK, could revolutionise supermarket shopping by informing customers when overstocked items go on sale.
It is now looking to succeed in an online public vote to get to the next stage of the Global Startup Weekend Sustainable Revolution.
Foodito is competing against 52 other regions in the contest, including the US, France, India and Peru, with Londoner Benjamin-Mohan saying any votes cast by this Saturday could help his team secure a spot at the ChangeNow Summit 2020 final in Paris.
He said: “Supermarkets currently waste around £43 billion worth of food every year [globally], whilst at the same time around 36 million people each year die of starvation.
“Our app creates a radical, affordable, yet sustainable way of shopping to prevent food waste in supermarkets.
“By giving power back to the customer, we hope to reduce food waste, increase the sale of reduced items and help nurture a viable alternative to having to rely on foodbanks. By casting your vote we might be able to take our app even further.”
Benjamin-Mohan, a student of international relations and politics, is currently interning with the British Council in China. As well as aiming to advance to the next stage in the competition, he would like to attract investment that could see Foodito become a “must-have” app.
The team behind Foodito also includes Ella Porter, a 3D design graduate from Robert Gordon University; Theresa Dodoo, a mathematics with finance student from Queen’s University Belfast; Natalia Jagielska, a masters graduate in geology from the University of Manchester; Monika Ewa Kurnicka, international business student from Cardiff University; Patryck Polsndki, a marketing student from Brunel University; and Jenna Chan, of Pearson Business School.
The Global Startup Weekend Sustainable Revolution is a global initiative led by volunteers to put sustainable development “at the forefront of the world stage” and help entrepreneurs boost environmental sustainability.
Other businesses to have their roots at the University of Dundee include Exscientia, a drug discovery company driven by artificial intelligence.
Additionally, Entrepreneurial Scotland in February revealed a tie-up with the University of Dundee to support students and academics in achieving their entrepreneurial goals.