Kennedy Brown and Zach Simunic are the founders of Hunger Curbed, which they launched in 2019. The company serves food truck operators and their customers. They won second place in Demo Day, the final event of the B-Start pre-accelerator program organized by the Bloomington Economic Development Corp. Brown is an alumna of the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University Bloomington; Simunic is a senior in the Kelley School.
Kennedy Brown: Food truck operators are looking to make their marketing efforts as pain-free as possible. Hungry foodies are looking for accurate information — like location, menu, hours of operation — that they have grown accustomed to from brick-and-mortar food businesses. Because traditional mediums are not optimized for mobile businesses, most food trucks are losing out on the opportunity to engage with their customers and create a loyal following.
CC: How does Hunger Curbed address those challenges?
Zach Simunic: We simplify how food trucks communicate with their customers. We automatically distribute accurate and timely information, like location and menu, to our native platform and platforms where they might already engage with customers. By creating an accessible, accurate digital profile, we legitimize the business in the customers’ minds and allow truck operators to efficiently develop loyalty among customers.
CC: What are the next steps to advance Hunger Curbed?
KB: We are currently building an SMS chat system to be deployed in Bloomington. This is the first iteration of what will become a larger system of products that will be deployed across web, mobile application and current marketing channels. We chose to test in Bloomington for its proximity to targeted cities and its diverse, engaged campus population that mimics urban populations like the ones we hope to find success in. We are also actively looking for talent to join us on our quest to create a more trusting and efficient relationship between food trucks and their customers.
CC: What are your thoughts about Bloomington’s entrepreneurial ecosystem?
KB: Our company has benefited greatly from Bloomington’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The combination of the university and local companies creates an ideal community where students can start, build and grow a company while learning from faculty, community leaders and fellow students.
The Bloomington environment is incredibly unique. Options and a variety of resources — like StartupIU and the Shoemaker Innovation Center on campus, and the Dimension Mill, B-Start and the Indiana Small Business Development Center — are key points that any student interested in pursuing an idea should take advantage of. People are starting to choose to build companies in the Midwest, and it’s encouraging to see students using Bloomington as their launchpad to act on their entrepreneurial urges.