By Liz Warren-Pederson
“From day one Jarrod, Jason, and I told ourselves that we thought that experiencing the program would be a failure if we did not create a business by the end of the year that could be launched,” said Josh Banayan (Eller MIS and Entrepreneurship ‘11), co-founder and CEO of the company. “Running our own business has always been our dream and we came into the program to pursue that dream.”
Banayan had been considering the concept for about a year before beginning the program. Jarrod Carr (Eller Management and Entrepreneurship ‘11) had a similar idea, and they formed a team with Jason Bral (Eller Finance, Management, and Entrepreneurship ‘11).
The JusTouch concept aims to revolutionize the restaurant industry through proprietary software and state-of-the-art android tablets that allow customers to browse the entire menu, order a meal, and pay the bill all at the table, creating an interactive dining experience.
“Times are changing,” Banayan said. “Look around when you walk out of a grocery store at the lines of people checking themselves out, or when you want to rent a movie, you do it yourself with Redbox. It’s time the restaurant industry changes, and we want to be at the forefront of that change.”
The team aims to grow the business in Tucson before moving into larger markets. “The city of Tucson has been great to us the past four years of college, and we intend on keeping this business local for as long as we can,” Banayan said.
A few months out of school, team members still find that they are learning every day. “The program prepared us well, but the mistakes we have made along the way and how we coped with them are preparing us to get where we want to go,” Banayan said. “When we first started we thought we had a set plan, but in the real world nothing works as planned. We learned that everything that can go wrong will. Being successful is not about how you handle the good situations, but how you deal with the bad.”
Find out more about the dynamic range of venture teams in the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program.