A team of current and former University of Memphis students plan to launch a new mobile app, Edesia, in spring 2019. The app will allow users to find and track the locations of different food trucks in Memphis.
Co-founder Kareem DaSilva, a 21-year-old computer science major at the U of M, said he saw a need for the food truck app after visiting food trucks at Court Square in downtown Memphis with friends.
“If you go there enough times, you’ll eventually run into disappointment because a food truck that you like is not there,” DaSilva said. “There’s no way to find food trucks. You can’t Google them or Yelp them. We found that to be a big marketing opportunity to build an application that finds and tracks food trucks.”
App users will be able to see a real-time map of nearby food trucks as well as current menus and prices. A search tab will also allow users to browse and look for specific types of food, such as Italian or Korean food. Some food trucks currently available on the app include Say Cheese!, Sushi Jimmi, CHOMP, Soi Number 9, Stickem and Mr. Frazier’s Fish Fry.
DaSilva invites students to follow Edesia on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and said a food truck festival is in the works to promote the release of the app.
“Technology is a great way to bring food trucks in style permanently,” DaSilva said.
Omar Mustapha, another Edesia co-founder and U of M alumnus, works directly with Memphis food truck owners to promote the app’s uses and benefits. Mustapha said he tries to appeal to the owners’ business models in order to get them to become a vendor through the app.
Mustapha said owners are also invited to participate in focus groups to gain more insight into the food truck industry.
“I believe that students should use this app in order to never have to look for a food truck again,” Mustapha said. “Edesia will pinpoint their favorite food truck’s location and even provide them with directions. Downloading Edesia is their best solution to finding food trucks fast.”
The app was created by students from the department of computer science at the U of M’s Crews Center for Entrepreneurship (CCE) building. The center provides students with business coaching as well as tools and space to work.
CCE Director Michael Hoffmeyer said although he provided mentoring as needed, Edesia was made through the “sheer hard work and persistence” of its creators.
“(DaSilva) came into the Crews Center wanting to get involved and learn about entrepreneurship,” Hoffmeyer said. “We paired him up with another entrepreneur who was working on an app, and this is where he learned iOS development and started his entrepreneurial journey at U of M.”
Hoffmeyer said DaSilva subsequently built a company creating apps for other businesses before having the idea to start Edesia.
“He and his team used what they’ve learned and are turning it into something that’s generating a lot of buzz,” Hoffmeyer said.
Edesia is currently being released for download in a closed beta phase, which means it is being pre-released for testing, prior to its official launch in the spring. Users can sign up to the join the beta phase at edesia.app.