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UNT alumnus accepted into start-up company mentorship program

UNT alumnus accepted into start-up company mentorship program

March 10
23:39 2015

Jordan Ottaway / Staff Writer

 A University of North Texas alumnus is part of an elite four percent after being accepted to a mentorship program tailored to help start-up companies develop.

Malcolm Woods, a 2011 computer engineering graduate, began work on his new company DineMob in February 2014. After working on development for almost a year, Woods began seeking different avenues for furthering his company.

He submitted his idea to Dallas-based mentorship program Tech Wildcatters after finding an open application on its Twitter page in early February. Submitting the application one day before the deadline, DineMob was one of the 15 startup companies, out of 350 total, accepted into the 2015 class for a company named in the top 10 startup incubators and accelerators by Forbes in 2012.

“We choose people first and ideas second when it comes to investing our money and time into startups,” Tech Wildcatters founder and CEO Gabriella Draney said. “Specifically we look for persistence, a history of getting stuff done and other telltale signs of success.”

Woods likes to call DineMob “the Hotels.com of restaurants” after a website that sells vacant hotel rooms at a discounted price. His goal is to keep a restaurant’s business flowing during slow periods by running special deals to entice people to come eat. People who are a part of the DineMob program can bank points to go towards their next meal.

Tech Wildcatters will help DineMob and the other 14 companies in this year’s class by investing money and holding a 12- week program that includes education, mentoring and networking to help the companies thrive. Woods said his company received $25,000 and that he is looking forward to the mentors guiding it towards success.

“They’ve been amazing to work with,” Woods said. “They have been pouring out their knowledge and experience to us so far and the big challenge is being able to process everything.”

Initially, Tech Wildcatters puts new CEOs in contact with different mentors and then it’s up to them to pick who they want as a long-term mentor. Woods said he has talked to many mentors and is looking for a four to six person team.

William Peregoy, Woods’ co-founder, chief operating officer and long time friend, handles administrative tasks such as accounting, finances and talking to potential restaurant partners. Because no contracts have been signed he was not able to say which restaurants they may work with, but he said there have been some verbal commitments.

“We would like to finish the development and get the beta app out there,” Peregoy said. “That will really be the testing ground for us is when we test the app and get customers on board.”

The beta is scheduled to launch in late April or early May. Both Woods and Peregoy are optimistic DineMob will be well-received in the coming months.

“I’m really excited about it,” Peregoy said. “The people we have already talked to seem excited about it so it’s just a matter of getting it all together.”

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