By Heather Lusk
The Boone County EDC has selected Bryan Long – founder of new website and app Crave.ly – to receive a yearlong membership at zWorks, Zionsville’s co-working and entrepreneurship space.
This is the first time this sort of sponsorship has been offered by the EDC.
“As we looked at it from a non-profit standpoint, our sponsorship would be almost like a scholarship for an entrepreneur that’s out there, to help them get up and off the ground,” said Ben Worrell, business development manager for the Boone County EDC.
Crave.ly was created to help diners find the foods they crave and learn about other restaurants in their area.
“I’m a picky eater,” Long said, “but my wife and I like to try new places and local places.”
The website and app are simple: diners search for the food they crave and options for the closest registered restaurants will appear. Restaurants can register for free with the option to upgrade membership for $30 a month or roughly how much one diner may pay at most of the restaurants, according to Long. That upgraded membership comes with access to analytical data, such as the search requests of diners in an area.
“If someone is going to open a restaurant in a given area we can tell them what people are asking for,” Long said.
Food photos can be posted by registered restaurants or by customers. Even food trucks are listed on the website, with the option to change their location as they move around town.
“That’s the beauty of the back end. We did little things like that,” said Long, whose current site went live in early August after a year of working with a Beta version. With 140 restaurants on the website, Long hopes to grow beyond the local area.
Long, a resident of Plainfield, looks forward to being a part of zWorks and all of the entrepreneurial events that come with membership.
“The networking that will be able to grow from that will be very useful,” he said. “I’ve already met people who like my idea.”
Worrell feels this will help promote restaurants locally, as retailers and businesses are growing in Boone County.