In 2012, Jay founded Meal Sharing - a global platform that connects people to home cooked meals. Fueled by his experience in technology and inspired by all of the traveling he did after graduation, Jay made it his goal to create a website that would bring people together from all around the world via food.
Fast forward to eight years later…
Jay’s start-up company has recently been acquired by Traveling Spoon, one of the world's largest travel culinary companies. The company now has meals from over 150 countries and 450 cities.
“It has been a crazy experience and I owe it all to Lewis University,” said Jay. “I was just a kid that started as a pre-health student, and now I get to travel around the world doing work that I love!”
At the beginning of his journey, Jay was nervous. This was something that had never been done before, but he took a chance and worked hard to be the best he could be. Lewis provided Jay with a strong foundation, and he continued to grow and gain confidence throughout his experiences after graduation.
“The people that I met at Lewis were inspiring – especially professors Robert Bergman and Arthur Regal. Anything I wanted to explore, whether that be music or switching my major and joining the College of Business, was met with open arms in a way that was not at other universities! I had the confidence to jump into things; to get in there, explore, and make a difference for the world. Lewis inspired me to think big and do things larger than myself,” Jay added.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in Marketing in 2007, Jay began working with a portfolio program advertising agency and had the opportunity to travel all around the world. From Paris to Brazil, he did it all. A few years later, Jay decided it was time to settle down and start his next adventure. As fate would have it, this adventure begins with a fellow Lewis alumnus. Jay and his good friend Justin Kempiak ’07 ’12 reconnected and, in 2010, they made the decision to build their own marketing agency company.
“It was a great experience to work with another Lewis Flyer!” said Jay. “We were definitely early players in the digital marketing scene in Chicago, and our work was ahead of our time. We brought something new to the table and it was exciting!”
Jay then opened his own agency which was a combination of advertising and marketing for clients and building startups for others. He had a team of designers and developers who helped their clients’ dreams come true – which is what ultimately inspired Jay to build Meal Sharing.
“I wanted to build a tech company for people to travel and try new food – a complete cultural exchange. I noticed a trend during my time abroad, gained confidence through my previous work, and just continued to build upon that. I was ready to change the world.”
Jay hopes that students will read his story and realize their full potential. “I want to be able to give back to the university that gave me the foundation to do some really exciting things in my career. But more importantly, I want to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs coming out of Lewis!”