WARRENTON — FastQSR is one of 23 semi-finalists for a seed grant from NC IDEA, a private foundation set up to help start-up businesses in the state.
Companies that ultimately win the competition will receive a $50,000 grant. NC IDEA announced that it received 131 applications, which it narrowed to the group of semi-finalists.
FastQSR is preparing its application for the next round in the SEED competition, company CEO Rob Meng said. They will make a presentation to NC IDEA in October. Six grant recipients will be selected in November.
FastQSR is a Warrenton-based company that provides technology and expertise to fast-food restaurants and other businesses that rely on movement of customers to maintain profitability. FastQSR helps its clients keep track of the movement of cars at the drive-thru window, and lines of customers dining inside.
Several technologies assist the process. An “AutoMotion Data Collection Unit” measures the movement of cars in the drive-thru lane and determines whether they are moving at an optimum rate.
A “LineMotion Data Collection Unit” measures customers in line before the cashier and helps the business identify bottlenecks and create solutions to undo the snags.
The “GuestMotion Data Collection Unit” uses a wi-fi device to determine the exact location, path and wait time of customers at a business site.
The company uses its data-analysis techniques to give clients a picture of how well each aspect of their service is functioning. The analysis is supposed to help helps businesses identify bottlenecks and streamline systems to eliminate costly delays.
FastQSR is based in Frontier Warren, a collaborative that provides space and connections for aspiring entrepreneurs. Located at 136 S. Main St. in Warrenton, Frontier Warren provides office space for 10 companies, plus shared meeting rooms and coworking space.
Frontier Warren is a collaboration between the Research Triangle Foundation, the town of Warrenton and Warren County.
Meng said that if FastQSR receives a grant, it will use the funds for marketing, in-person events and a pilot program involving several other companies.
The marketing initiative would involve collaboration with other companies including Tabletop Media Group, a marketing agency that specializes in the food, beverage, agriculture and lifestyle industries.
One projected in-person event will be a Restaurant Leadership Conference held in collaboration with Winsite Media Group, which focuses on convenience retailing, grocery businesses, restaurants and noncommercial foodservice.
The pilot program will involve several companies that Meng said he’s “not comfortable naming” at this time.
Since 2006, NC IDEA has awarded over $6.8 million in seed funding to 154 companies throughout the state. It says that collectively, the grant recipients have generated more than $295 million in funding and created over 1,860 jobs.