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Muru-D Demo Night

demo night 3Muru-D Demo Night is the concluding night of the Muru-D program, Telstra’s startup accelerator. Muru-D invites a large pool of investors and supporters to hear their startups pitch, followed up with some networking time afterward so startups can benefit from the exposure. As co-founders pitched on the massive stage, they were live-streamed as well. After six months of learning, challenges, and superb growth in the Muru-D accelerator program, Demo Night was equal parts pitch and performance for the young companies involved.

demo night 5Guests, a crowd donning a mix of suits and startup t-shirts, shuffled into the Telstra theater, brightly lit with fluorescent pink lights. Since the theater was full of investors and other guests, the Drive Yello team members sat with the other startups backstage and waited to watch the pitches. Drive Yello was the first startup to pitch, so we sat silently wishing our co-founders, Steve Fanale and Johnny Timbs, luck until finally seeing them step out onto the stage.

As soon as they took the stage, they began playing off each other, keeping the mood light as they introduced themselves. Immediately, the dynamic of friendship and, more importantly, deep respect our co-founders have for each other was evident. After watching their pitch a potential investor said, “If you learn nothing else at Muru-D, you sure learn how to give a great pitch and tell a story.” Johnny and Steve were no different.

demo night 1Steve explained the mission of our company, which is to set the standard for food delivery and make it impeccable across the board. With the amazing technology available to us in the present, it’s absurd to have the headaches and hiccups surrounding food delivery for restaurants. He then moved towards one of the most exciting aspects of the Yello pitch, which is our traction. Since December, Yello has completed over 30,000 deliveries, generated more than $180k in revenue for our community of drivers and closed $1.7M in funding. Although the numbers spoke for themselves, they didn’t have to. Before moving on to Johnny’s portion of the pitch, Steve flashed the logos of our easily recognizable partners on the screen, including McDonald’s, Menulog, and Woolworth’s. With some of the biggest brands in the industry as our clients, it was easy to see the potential for Yello to become a global brand.

demo night 4Johnny spoke next about industry potential, a subject he’s extremely qualified to speak on with twelve years of background in the hospitality industry. There’s a $200 billion food industry in the U.S. alone waiting to be disrupted further, and Yello is working every day to do so. Using his story and industry knowledge to drive the point home, Johnny made it clear that Yello is the company the food industry has been waiting for. Tech as a solution for independent, financially viable delivery is a satisfying fix for an entrepreneurial mind.

demo night 6After the pitches, everyone poured into the forum area to mingle and meet one another. Steve and Johnny were excited to have completed their pitches but more excited about the opportunities the exposure of Demo Day could generate. Steve and Johnny got a lot of positive feedback after they smashed their pitch, my favorite comment was from a Telstra employee: “Wow, so you guys are completely different from anyone else out there.”

Yes. Yes we are.

View the demo night video here

Meet our CTO

Peter_Colour Peter Vahaviolos is the Chief Technology Officer at Drive Yello. From his thoughts on Australia’s tech scene to his spirit animal, here are some answers from the man behind the code.

Where are you from?
I was born here in Sydney. My heritage is Greek. My mom was born here, my dad was born overseas. I actually lived in Greece for three years when I was young.

What’s your job at Yello?

I’m new to the startup world and I’ve been at Yello for two months. My job is quite mixed. There’s an element of team management, project management and of course there’s coding. In a start up it’s a very hands-on role. At a big company, where you’d maybe have 40 developers, the CTO wouldn’t code. You would primarily focus on strategy, leadership and tasks such as architecture and road mapping. It’s not just knowing where the product will be tomorrow, it’s building the right foundations for future development. Often developers just worry about building the features, but I have to take a high-level view of the whole thing and actually keep an eye on what we plan on building and what business goals we need to achieve. It’s also working with Steve and the founders, managing their expectations. I try to prioritize business and commercial  requirements and filter that back down to the team. It’s not purely tech, you have to look at the big picture.

What are your thoughts on the tech industry in Sydney?
I think it’s rapidly evolving, which is a good thing. It was a bit stagnate for a while behind the U.S., although there’s been moments. Google Maps was invented by Aussies here in Australia. Atlassian is an Australian company that just went public in the States. It’s not all bad, we are evolving. I think it’s always been a little bit behind the US but we are now starting to build our ecosystem. More entrepreneurs are taking the plunge and starting their own start-ups. As far as developing new technologies, coding, languages and frameworks, I think we’re pretty innovative. Large companies such as Apple and Amazon are starting to pay more attention us down here and run events, so I think that’s a step in the right direction. It’s exciting, it’s growing but I think it’s still got a way to go. We’ll watch with anticipation.

What’s your favorite thing about working for Yello?
My favorite thing is that it’s small enough – this might sound cliche – that you can actually make a difference in what it becomes. Influencing how the product is built, how the team grows, the kind of people that are hired – everything. Everything is a bit of a clean slate, even though the product is live, the roadmap is full and there’s still a lot to do. The people here, even though it’s a small team, are all pretty fun, committed, great people. It’s always good to work with people when everyone’s got a shared vision. I get to work with new, cutting-edge technologies because it’s not a legacy or a really old, massive company where you can’t change anything. We can turn around tomorrow and say, “You know what, let’s change how we do this.” And we can. Every tech person wants that at some point in their career.

What was the first computer language you learned? 
HTML and CSS

What’s your favorite pizza topping?
One of my favorite pizza toppings is just cheese pizza. I love cheese pizza. It’s boring, but it’s so nice. And pepperoni. Pepperoni’s good too.

If you could drive anything to work, what would it be?
A tank? No, just kidding. Probably a motorbike. It’s fun and you get around the traffic, so why not?

What is your spirit animal?
A wolf.

Android or Apple?
Apple

What technology do you hope we’ll have in 20 years that we don’t have now? 
It kind of exists, but definitely a more seamless way to control screens and devices without touching them. Like Minority Report where they move their hands and something goes from a screen to a tablet. I’m probably dreaming a little bit, but that would be good.

What’s your superhero name?
This is the nerd question. Interesting. I’ve seen a lot of superhero movies. I really like this one in X Men called Nighthawk. That’s a really cool name. I can’t think of one that doesn’t exist, there are a million superheroes. Nighthawk it is.

What’s your favorite piece of technology or gadget?
I’m not really into smartwatches or any of that sort of stuff. I love TVs even though they’ve been around for a hundred years. When I say TV though, I mean the new 4K Quantum Dot. Super nerdy. It’s a new way of building TVs.

Aussie App Changing The Home Delivery Model

hufpostpicLast week, The Huffington Post sat down with a member of our driver community management team, Georgina McMenamin. We’re proud to be recognized as a company that provides new opportunities to millenials. We have job opportunities for developers currently, and we’re always looking for more drivers to sign up. If you want to read more about Georgie’s Yello experience and how Yello is building a brand name in the food delivery space, read the full article here.

Welcome to the Drive Yello blog.

Thanks for joining us. There’s a lot going on at Yello that we’re so excited to share with you.
 yellostreet
As of today, there are over 2,000 quality drivers partnered with Yello.
Yello couldn’t function without our amazing drivers who value reliable food delivery as much as we do. By driving for Yello, drivers are able to make their own hours by picking up shifts when and where it’s convenient for them. They are also able to foster relationships with restaurants and grow their own personal delivery business. It’s a network that benefits everyone, and it’s been a pleasure to see the Yello community thriving. We’re always looking for more people to drive with Yello, so don’t hesitate to spread the word!
Last week alone, Yello drivers made over 1,300 deliveries.
Not to mention the 20,000+ deliveries Yello has provided since we started in December. Every day, we see more happy customers, active drivers, and growing restaurants. Our deliveries are fast and efficient because of our bundling algorithm that helps restaurants group delivery orders together based on cooking time, time of the order, driver proximity, and destination proximity to the store.
We’ve got some sweet rides.
Two weeks ago, we added the first two vehicles to our official Yello fleet. We have a scooter and electric bike to loan out to drivers that want to pick up shifts for busy downtown restaurants but don’t necessarily have the means to do so. These yellow bikes are pretty cool if we do say so ourselves, so hopefully we’ll get more out on the road soon. In their spare time, our tech team drafts up designs for flying Yello cars, so you can look forward to that as well.
We’re growing up and getting ready to move away from home.
Three weeks ago, Yello launched in Melbourne, and we’re looking to open an office there soon. Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 3.12.19 PMKnown for its rich dining culture and love of food, Melbourne seemed like the obvious choice for our expansion after developing a strong presence in Sydney. Recently, CEO Steve Fanale and COO Johnny Timbs visited California as well to gain some insight into breaking into U.S. markets. After talking to advisors, potential clients, and partners, Steve and Johnny now have a clearer understanding of what our U.S. strategy could be. We’re hoping to make that expansion a reality sooner than we initially believed we could.
As if a premium food delivery service wasn’t enough, we now have the best blog on the internet as well!
Check back with us soon to meet the team, learn why Yello is the best company to drive for, get updates about our new partner businesses, and more!

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