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Detroit startup lets YOU make your fast food healthy!

When it comes to business success, it’s pretty simple — solve people’s problems or fill a need they might not even know they have.

Today we are focused on a widespread problem that affects individuals and society as a whole: The unhealthy fast food that is feeding America’s obesity epidemic.

When I first heard about, a Detroit-area entry to [link] (a social gaming to social change site that has folks behind it who’ve worked on projects like American Idol and, I was skeptical since often the next big thing or so-called “hot product” is merely a poor imitation of what already exists — if I had a dollar for every time I heard “Facebook Killer” or “Better than Twitter!” I’d be a rich man.

Then, I watched the video and read the blog entries.

I was blown away scrolling through tons of supportive comments and just had to follow up with a conversation with one of the founders.

This skeptic is now a believer.

Mockup of the new site

Why? Because it solves a real problem. It’s something I can see myself and others actually using. We (especially those of us on the go) eat food that is really bad for us at various fast food places.

Gary Wohfeill, a founder of the project put it this way: “The main idea is that fast food is broken and it doesn’t have to be. We rearrange the puzzle pieces to make it work.”

As I understand it, the premise is, “What if we the public could keep the convenience and speed of fast food – as well as its affordability – but make it better with local, healthier ingredients?”

Sounds like a tasty proposition. But the business case, traditionally, isn’t there for most of these places to spend more on ingredients. It’s a tough economy, and there’s limited market.

But here’s the rest of the puzzle: They removed the risk for the business owners. Foodsurge guarantees a certain number of purchases, so that the business owner has income and can deliver the meals. The meal is only served if the minimum amount of purchases are made through their website.

What’s more? This idea did not exist weeks ago. The winner of the Fast Food challenge will receive $5,000 as well as business knowledge to make the project a reality. They’ve already received some agency advice from Poke New York, and their competition did as well but from OgilvyEarth.

“It’s been a lot of fun, we didn’t know the challenge until the start except that it was about food,” says Wohlfeill.

So after weeks of thinking, building, and voting, Detroit has a finalist in but it needs your support to win. Voting is only today and Tuesday, and every vote counts.

Here’s how.

1. Register for an account at

2. Vote for the Beet Squad to put Foodsurge over the top.

We’ve got another chance to show the world that the Motor City continues to be a hub of innovation.

Interested in more? We’ve embedded three of their competition videos below.

Foodsurge 30 sec (Original Music – version 2) from Gary Wohlfeill on Vimeo.

The Beet Squad Rd 2 – Foodsurge from Gary Wohlfeill on Vimeo.

The Beet Squad – Challenge Video #1 from Gary Wohlfeill on Vimeo.

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