Meet Logan and Alexandria Craft
Logan and Alexandria Craft stood before a panel of judges wearing matching T-shirts with the words “DailyEatz” across the front. Before this moment, the young entrepreneurs watched countless episodes of a popular business pitch show in preparation for the opportunity to introduce their big business idea at the iBucs competition, hosted annually by ETSU’s College of Business and Technology. With cash prizes at stake, the couple explained their concept – a website, and eventually an app, that will connect users with daily discounts at restaurants. Their creative branding and business acumen paid off, literally, as Logan and Alexandria won first place at the 2019 iBucs Competition and received $4,000 to accelerate their startup. The couple and co-founders, who reside in Elizabethton, aim to launch the DailyEatz website in late September.
In addition to being entrepreneurs, Alexandria and Logan are busy ETSU students on a limited budget with little time to cook, which is how they came up with the idea for DailyEatz. Alexandria is working toward a doctorate in higher educational leadership, and Logan is studying computer science with a concentration in information technology and expects to graduate in December. He received a reversed transfer associate degree from Northeast State Community College and also works as the systems administrator for the Johnson City Public Library. Alexandria obtained both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from ETSU. She currently teaches English courses as an adjunct at Northeast State and works as a doctoral fellow in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at ETSU.
How did you get the idea for DailyEatz?
Alexandria: We were lying in bed one night, and I thought aloud, “Wouldn’t it be nice to know what I could eat for cheap tomorrow?” Logan said, “That’s not a bad idea,” and immediately started researching whether the concept already existed or not. We couldn’t find anything similar to what we were imagining, so Logan said he would start building a web application and see where it went.
Logan: Who doesn’t want to save money? If I can buy dinner for $3 this evening instead of $20, I’m going to go for the $3 meal. DailyEatz has always had the goal of creating one website where a user can go and find all the food deals in a specific location for many different deal types like “kids eat free,” “all you can eat” and “college students.”
What made you decide to enter the iBucs business pitch competition?
Logan: We were working on DailyEatz before we found out about the iBucs competition.
Alexandria: I was scrolling through Instagram and saw an ad for the competition. I messaged it to Logan, and at first, I thought it would just be him because he’s more of the presenter type, but he said we should do it as a team.
I never thought that we would get the chance to do something like this as a team at ETSU. It was cool that it worked out that way because I’m a graduate student and he’s finishing his undergrad, but what is so great about iBucs is that we could make a team and work together. You don’t have to be from the same group or department.
Through this process of bringing your idea to fruition, have either of you ever doubted yourself?
Alexandria: Once we knew there wasn’t anything out there like DailyEatz, we went at it full force. He’s been working on the coding every day. He’ll do his school work and work his regular job, and he’ll code and we’re in the process of trying to get all the information from all the restaurants. I collect it and he puts it back in the system.
Logan’s always had big goals. It’s never been that we were going to only focus on Johnson City. As soon as I had the idea, he said we were going to go nationwide and sell the site for millions someday. I think you have to think that way from the beginning. You can’t just say you’re going to have this “little idea,” or that’s what it’s going to be. You have to go for the gusto, and we’re not going to stop going for it!
As co-founders, what individual skills do you bring to your business?
Logan: I’ve been coding since I was a kid. I created my first app when I was 12. It predicts animal movement based off the barometric pressure. Building the site is not a large problem because I have that background. My focus of study is websites, databases, and search engines.
Alexandria: Thank goodness!
Logan: Axie comes from more of a leadership background, so running the company and making decisions will be her responsibility.
Alexandria: I have a B.A. and M.A. from ETSU in English, so I’m comfortable preparing the business plan, editing any documents we have, and talking to people. We each bring different things. He’s more outspoken.
You won the top prize of $4,000 to accelerate your startup. What’s next for DailyEatz?
Logan: We’re going to launch the website September 23, my birthday. I’ve launched several apps on that date in the past. Our launch strategy consists of multiple social media networks and several common startup websites where people vote, and sites with a lot of votes gain traction and usually get media attention. We hope to use that our advantage.
Alexandria: We’ve put some of the money back, and we’re in the process of getting an LLC for our business. Saving money for marketing is a big deal for us. We’re prepared to work on the website together for as long as it takes to make it a success.
The hardest part of being a team is that I think something, but he thinks something else, and since there are only two of us, whose idea goes? In that case, we call a friend whom we bounce ideas off of and he helps us solve the problem.
How did you meet?
Logan: We actually met in a food place, an ice cream shop in Elizabethton.
Alexandria: I was working there after graduating with my B.A. in December 2015. I was waiting to hear about the master’s program, and I wanted a fun job on the side. We lived in the same town our whole lives and even have mutual friends in common, but he was home-schooled, and I went to public school. He came in one day and then kept coming in.
Logan: It worked!
Alexandria: He gave me a business card from one of the apps he had created, and at the time he was going to Northeast State. ETSU is so big that I don’t know if we would have ever crossed paths because we are in such different departments.
He handed me the business card, and six months later we were married. The first thing we talked about was our interests — mine was Shakespeare and his was computers. We worked it out!