Stretch Recipes Wants to Help People Eat Better on a Budget

BY LAURA LOREK
Founder of Silicon Hills News

Lauren Foster, co-founder of Stretch Recipes, photo by Laura Lorek

Lauren Foster, co-founder of Stretch Recipes, photo by Laura Lorek

Lauren Foster is on a mission.
She wants everyone to eat better and save more money.
Foster, the co-founder and CEO of Stretch Recipes, an Austin-based startup, is creating a mobile phone app that lets people on tight budgets make their dollars go further while still buying nutritious food base on pre-planned recipes. The app lists ingredients and provides coupons for a discount.
The inspiration for the app came from her experiences growing up with her grandmother who was diabetic and suffered from heart disease and cancer. As a result, she was tired and didn’t cook. So Foster often ate fast food. She didn’t know a lot about nutrition.
After she moved to Austin, Foster’s brother came to live with her. She didn’t have money to feed him. He went on foodstamps and he blew through an entire month’s foodstamp budget on Cheetos and ground beef during one visit to the grocery store, Foster said.
That’s when she decided to launch Stretch Recipes to make information on nutritious recipes on a budget available to everyone.
In March of 2013, Foster landed a few partnerships with the Sustainable Food Center and local food banks to test the application on people with tight budgets. A month later, she quit her job and began focusing on the startup full time. She also met Ben Shank, who became her technical co-founder.
In August, UnLtd USA, Austin’s first incubator for entrepreneurs solving pressing social and environmental problems, selected Stretch Recipes to be one of six startup finalists in its first cohort.
Through UnLtd USA, Stretch will receive seed funding and a year of incubation support, said Zoe Schlag, one of its founders. The incubator selected Stretch and the other five companies from a pool of more than 80 applicants.
Stretch also launched an IndieGoGo campaign this summer to complete its minimum viable product so it could begin testing its product with a group of 100 people before it launches its Beta product. The company received close to $5,000 of a $25,000 goal.
Stretch Recipes also won the Audience Choice Award at the Austin Tech Crunch Meetup. Foster won tickets to Disrupt in San Francisco Sept. 8th -10th.

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