Foodguide-Gründer Malte Steiert © Foodguide APP UG

Hamburg's Foodguide start-up eyeing U.S. market

Founder Malte Steiert touring from Silicon Valley to New York City in a camper van for documentary film

Hamburg’s Foodguide, located in the popular, thriving Schanzenviertel, is keen to bring Silicon Valley flair to the city. Malte Steiert, founder of Foodguide, recently returned from a road trip across the United States with plenty of ideas for progressing his fledgling company. The social network for food allows users to share restaurant tips and ideas for tasty dishes.The platform works like Tinder and users swipe restaurants depending on their likes. Launched in May 2014 as a food blog on Instagram when Steiert was a student at the Macromedia University of Applied Sciences and after a term in Bangkok, the budding entrepreneur sought a way to enjoy new food discoveries with friends and acquaintances.

U.S. branch

In three years, the 24-year-old’s idea has taken German-language countries and cities across Europe by storm. Since early 2017, Steiert has been working on plans to open a branch in New York or San Francisco next year after concluding a round of financing with U.S. investors. After his four-week road trip, Steiert is enthusiastic about Foodguide’s exciting U.S. venture.

Documentary about U.S. start-ups

Steier toured the U.S for a documentary called “Starting Up USA – Von der Garage zum Unicorn in 5.000 km (From the garage to Unicorn in 5,000 km)“ with Florian Schmitt, Head of Start-up Relations at Haufe Group. The tour is part of the company’s efforts to help young entrepreneurs to achieve long-term success. The documentary will be released in cinemas in autumn and focuses on the different U.S. and German start-up cultures. Steiert and Schmitt hit the road and departed Stanford University in Silicon Valley aboard a camper van followed by a film crew. Their trip took them all to Los Angeles and Denver across the U.S. to New York City. Various stops brought them together with several entrepreneurs, investors and tech-pioneers, including German investor Carsten Maschmeyer who lives in Beverly Hills, and Alessio Borgmeyer, CEO of Jodel – an app for students.

Meeting CTO of Dropbox

Steiert’s meeting with Aditya Agarwal, CTO of Dropbox proved a highlight. Agarwal was among the first ten Facebook staff and has “incredible vision,” said Steiert who was particularly impressed by his leadership skills: “He enthuses his team and creates informal links between work and leisure activities.”

A tour of an office gave Steiert a sense of Silicon Valley: “The employees are offered plenty – a gymnasium, star restaurant and a huge roof terrace with a vegetable garden.” However, such incentives come at a cost even though they boost work performance among staff. “Extremely swift growth is possible in such a family business.“

Foodguide team heading to Lisbon

Steiert hopes to put his new insight to good use in Schanzenviertel. Staff will soon receive clothing in the Foodguide design to promote solidarity outside of work. Steiert is also planning workshops on leadership and personal skills. Late 2017 will see the 15-strong Foodguide team spend a week in Lisbon to promote team spirit and enjoy the winter sun, cultural highlights and yoga courses. Steiert hopes to equip his team well for future endeavours.

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