It’s no surprise that with the rise of technology, we are moving toward a world of convenience. It extends into every facet of our lives, including giving back to the community. This is not a new concept to serial entrepreneur Johnathan Mayo. Armed with a mechanical engineering degree from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and an MBA from VCU, Johnathan has had his hand in multiple successful ventures, the most recent of which is Serving Up Change.
The idea for this venture occurred to him while working as the co-owner of Mama-Js restaurant, when he realized two things;
1: Restaurants have unique opportunity to engage people on a daily basis.
2: people are very reactive when presented with a community issue.
So he came up with a way to connect the two by taking the idea of a traditional “spirit night” where people go to a restaurant on a given day to support a charity, and make it easier for people to get involved. Serving Up Change provides organizations and businesses a platform for virtual fundraisers and creates a simple online process to raise money.
Basically, instead of rallying everyone to visit a restaurant or business at a specific date and time, virtual fundraisers leverage an organization’s network through the sale of eGift cards, allowing you to go eat at your leisure and still donate to a great cause. Not only is this great for the community and for people who wish to get involved, but it allows restaurants to manage charity requests through their platform. You can find them working with restaurants like Home team grill, Mama Js, Stir Crazy, Q bbq, Sweet Frog, Cary 100, and more. They’ve even recently expanded past the food sphere after adding Sky Zone to their platform.
Johnathan as a founder has always had the mindset of giving back. In a recent interview with M Lifestyle, he credits this to his mother, stating that “Her spirit of giving back was just what she did. The giving part [that I have] comes from being around her, seeing her sacrifice and raising my sister and I alone, she engrained that in us,” and she continues to be his motivation. To be sure, we at Startup Virginia can’t wait to see where that motivation takes him.