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ElderlyEats: Student’s Venture Wins Top Honors at George Mason University

George Mason University’s Patriot Pitch Competition awarded its top prize in the General Entrepreneurship Track to Zachary Suh, a 19-year-old freshman from Ashburn studying marketing.

Suh’s venture, ElderlyEats, aims to provide senior citizens with nutritious and culturally familiar meal plans.

“ElderlyEats is basically a meal plan company that’s catered to the specific needs of the elderly’s dietary nutrition,” said Suh. “We have dietitians on our team that vet our meals carefully to the nutrition of elders.”

Unlike popular meal kit services like HelloFresh and Blue Apron, ElderlyEats focuses on creating meals for seniors with conditions such as dysphagia and diabetes. His personal experience inspired Suh with his grandmother, who struggled to find suitable meals due to Alzheimer’s and dysphagia. “We ordered these dishes, but she couldn’t actually eat them. So we had to almost like puree it up for her,” he explained.

The company emphasizes traditional dietary ingredients to provide familiar flavors, addressing a gap left by mainstream meal services that cater to younger demographics. “We’re focusing on developing these menu items that are just pureed completely. We’re looking at rice porridges, soups, stuff like that,” said Suh. “A big thing about these major meal plans is that they’re focusing on a very young demographic, so their meals are very catered to, you know, kind of trendy cultural foods.”

Suh’s journey into entrepreneurship was influenced by his brother, a successful entrepreneur who received investment from Y Combinator. “My brother definitely influenced that. I actually competed with him at UVA when I was a high schooler in another entrepreneurship competition, and that kind of exposed me to it,” Suh said.

Despite the challenges, Suh is committed to growing his business and hopes to continue in the field of entrepreneurship, potentially opening a restaurant in the future. “If I was able to successfully exit my company, then I’d probably open up a restaurant. But I think I’ll definitely stay in the world of entrepreneurship,” he stated.

Suh encouraged aspiring entrepreneurs to pursue their passion and start small businesses. “Whatever you’re passionate in, that’s what you’re going to put the most hours in and the most work in,” he said. “You just got to start. You can’t just keep saying you’re going to do something. Break your big goal into smaller plans and just execute through that.”

As a freshman, Suh has made significant strides with ElderlyEats and looks forward to further developing his venture while completing his studies at George Mason University. “I really have no idea right now where I see myself in the next five years,” Suh admitted. “But I’m just going to keep working on ElderlyEats and see where it takes me.”

 

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  • Uriah Kiser

    I'm the Founder and Publisher of Potomac Local News. Raised in Woodbridge, I'm now raising my family in Northern Virginia and care deeply about our community.

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