How a startup can be a success AND still Goodr

In addition to the other reasons many entrepreneurs decide to start a startup: passion about an idea, belief in a product; wanting to change the world or even to make a lot of money, it is important to understand that these motivations need not be singular.

Goodr, a startup that targets businesses so it can provide for the local community, shows how success and service to the community can both be part of the same aim. 

On the business side, Goodr offers an end-to-end solution waste management solution that helps businesses dispose of their waste. Where it expands beyond a mere waste removal service is the way Goodr does it means that companies that use its service allow any leftover food to be distributed through various channels by Goodr to the people in the community who most need assistance.

A win-win all round? Sure sounds like it. Not only can companies give themselves a pat on the back knowing that they are doing some good with their unused food, but the way Goodr processes their waste means it also helps companies meet their environmental goals, adhere to local regulations, and even be eligible for a tax deduction while doing it. 

The pioneer behind this idea, Jasmine Crowe-Houston, explained how the idea came from her organisation of a community event: “In 2016, one of my volunteers at Sunday Soul posted a video on Facebook of the event and it went viral. Many people were commenting on the post, asking who donated the food and the truth was I purchased all the food myself.”

This encounter, however, led Crowe-Houston to think about what happens to the extra food at the end of the night from businesses and restaurants, and possibly see if they can make donations. “I was shocked to learn how much food is wasted in this country,” explains Crowe-Houston. Inspired into action, and with the market of food delivery apps beginning to blossom, Crowe-Houston had the idea to make an app for food waste and repurposing, and in 2017, Goodr was born. 


Goodr is an end-to-end waste management company that is solving two of the world's biggest problems: hunger and food waste. One of the services uses technology to manage the logistics for getting excess food from businesses. If the food is edible, it is delivered to a network of nonprofits, and they can distribute it to people in need. If it is non-edible, it is delivered to composting sites and animal farms.

“Hunger is not a matter of food scarcity, it’s a matter of logistics,” asserts Crowe-Houston. Through a subscription model with businesses, Goodr first onboards a business, inventories everything that they sell; the cost, weight, etc. of their food and uploads it to the app. That way, at the end of the night, all businesses have to do is enter in what food from their menu is left over and request a pickup.

Using third-party logistics drivers, the food is picked up and then matched with a non-profit or composting site in the system that accepts the food. Once the food is delivered, data is uploaded to the portal where the business can see where the food was taken, how many pounds were diverted from landfill, and even receive a donation receipt for that delivery for their tax deductions. 

Because of this attractive model, Goodr has now managed to work with cities, celebrities, and corporations to fund popup grocery markets where people can shop for free, and free grocery stores in schools and senior homes, as well as the Goodr Mobile Grocery Store that is designed to drive to food desserts and provide weeks works of groceries; it also facilitates work with local grocers and farmers to procure the food for distribution. 


Goodr’s journey, from starting as a team of one in 2017, to now have partnered with Porsche; raised more than a $1 million in venture capital and having its CEO and Founder [Crowe-Houston] featured on Forbes, is one of strength to strength. Yet, the journey to get there has been one of real grit.

“When I was creating the concept of Goodr, I entered a hackathon at Georgia Tech and worked with students to create a clickable prototype,” explains Crowe-Houston. “Going to events like hackathons and practicing my pitch with Goodie Nation really helped me prepare, because I did not have a technical background. I used that prototype and entered over 100 pitch competitions (and won).” 

Crowe-Houston used the $250,000 winnings as seed money for her startup. Other than scaling and growing a team, which she states has been a challenge, Crowe-Houston highlights how fundraising has had a unique set of challenges for her. “Not only as a woman, but as a Black woman. There are a lot of investors that automatically underestimate you,” explains Crowe-Houston. Indeed, it is estimated that less than 1% of all UK venture funding is awarded to all-female teams.

Yet, having now grown to 21 full-time employees and 25 part-time, Goodr is primed to build off its success and reach new heights and allow Crowe-Houston to ‘get to live this dream’ and continue ‘planting the seeds to end hunger.’


So, with a big goal ahead of trying to end hunger, it’s safe to say Goodr has a lot on its plate. Yet, it has further plans to scale. Having already done work throughout several cities in the US, Goodr is intending to go further across the US and even expand internationally. Outside of internal aims, Crowe-Houston explains how some new legislation being passed in some US cities that mandates businesses donate their food will aid their growth strategy, with Goodr planning to target these cities and any new ones that follow suite. 

As evidenced by the past couple of years, the future can be uncertain. Yet what ties startups over in these tough times, is the grit, ambition, and greater belief that what you are doing is for a great good. Goodr, under Crowe-Houston, has all three, and so maybe we will see the issue of hunger begin to subside within our lives, one meal at a time.