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Arkansas Startup Named Semifinalist in Startup of the Year Competition

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Luncher’s logo displayed at the Startup of the Year Summit

by Tyler Hale

One Arkansas company has been named as one of the semifinalists for the Startup of the Year award. The Bentonville-based company Luncher was one of 100 companies to participate in this global competition, which aims to recognize startup founders.

Head by founder and CEO Edwin Ortiz, Luncher is an on-demand platform that allows individuals to order lunch from a curated menu and have it delivered to a “hotspot.” The goal of Luncher, Ortiz has said, is to help people “save time and make the convenience of delivery more accessible to more people.

Held in Memphis this year, the Startup of the Year competition saw the 100 semifinalist compete the for the title of Startup of the Year and a potential $100,000 investment. During the competition, the semifinalists pitched their companies to a panel of investor judges, who scored each startup.

The semifinalists were whittled down to the top 5 companies, who then pitched their companies during a live showcase during the Startup of the Year Summit. The winner was then selected.

The 2019 Startup of the Year winner is re:3D, which focuses on 3D printing. The company’s flagship technology, the Gigabot, is a large format 3D printing device that can create objects “up to 30x larger than competing desktop models,” according to the company.

Rounding out the top five for Startup of the Year are IMMERTEC, a Florida-based company that provides virtual reality software for medical device training and sales; SecondKeys, a Memphis company that provides software for simplifying the process of filing maintenance requests for residential properties; Fruutfull, a Florida-based company that has created a design that allows customers to create their personal bra fit “down to the exact centimeter; and Route, a Chicago-based company that provides a business management platform that allows companies to monitor and streamline their work.

Edwin Ortiz

While Luncher did not end up taking home the top prize, Ortiz says the experience was worthwhile. He says being part of the competition was an acknowledgement of the company and the hard work that his team has put forth.

“We are extremely happy to be nominated for the Startup of the Year and be one of the top startups in our segment,” he says. “This is a global competition and just making it to the 100 finalists has been unreal. It feels great to have others believe in our vision and have the hard work of our team be recognized.”

Ortiz credits his team for the recognition and the progress Luncher has made since its founding.

“This would not be possible without the work of our core team (Aaron Robinson, Amber Duke, Allison Frye, Bryce Holland) and also our amazing families, friends and mentors supporting us along the way,” Ortiz says.

READ MORE: From Mexico City to Northwest Arkansas: Edwin Ortiz and Luncher

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