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Flint, MI—Fabian Haywood is one step closer to getting a patent for his food delivery system, Eats Station, after winning a local pitch competition.
Haywood, a Flint native and area manager for Amazon, won both first place and people’s choice at 100k Ideas “Pitch for $K” competition last month, garnering $6,000 in prize funds he said will go toward the final push for a patent on his idea.
Haywood opened his pitch by saying he’d recently graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with his MBA, and in his spare time he is a food delivery driver “with a 4.5 star rating.”
“Have you ever ordered from DoorDash, Uber Eats, maybe GrubHub and they delivered your order to the wrong house? Or maybe by the time your meal got to you it was just way too cold?” Haywood asked the judges.
“When I became a delivery driver, on my very first order, the customer requested that I leave their meal at the door, and as I walk up the steps to their house, I see a dead bird … what would you do in that situation?”
From there, Haywood explained his idea: Eats Station, an insulated bag that hangs over the front of a recipient’s door to keep their food off the ground while also ensuring the items’ proper temperature and delivery to the correct address.
Since Eats Station’s patent is pending, Haywood explained relative specifications for the bags: they are weather-proof, hold up to eight takeout containers, and have a QR code for delivery drivers to scan upon arrival.
He ended his presentation with a smile and a quote, “If you wouldn’t put your feet on the table, why put your food on the floor?”
And then, to his surprise, he won.
“That blew my mind,” Haywood said afterward. “Honestly, I thought two other people were going to take it. … After they announced second place, I was like, ‘Okay, well, that’s that.'”
Before the pitch competition, he’d almost given up on his idea.
“I did not want to do Eats Station anymore,” he said. “It had become a big task, and I wasn’t making as much progress with the idea as I had wanted to.”
But right when he was ready to throw in the towel, he was approved for Pitch for $K.
Now, he said, he remains grateful that other Flint business owners—La’Asia Johnson of Elle Jae Essentials and Kendra Dean of Ambitious Kreations—pushed him to apply.
“There’s a community of entrepreneurs here who support each other,” he said. “I feel thoroughly supported in this community.“
Haywood is continuing work with his mentor and 100k Ideas to finalize the patent for Eats Station. From there, he hopes to license Eats Station to major food delivery services for their own production and branding possibilities.