Year in Review: A Look Back at People Shaping the City

From the December 22, 2011 edition

The 50 people featured this year in my weekly interview column programmed apps, opened shops, won awards, recorded albums, started organizations, published novels and built robots.

Here’s a look at what three have accomplished since appearing in Alive.

Derek Edwards

CEO, Hungerly

The city’s mobile-food movement inspired Derek Edwards and cohorts to craft Hungerly, an app that allows diners to find carts and helps vendors to park near customers. The project was chosen for the 1492 business accelerator program and was recently named a semifinalist in the 2011 TechColumbus Innovation Awards.

Hungerly now has roughly 1,000 active users and 30 member businesses, Edwards said.

However, the software isn’t just good for finding food trucks. Others have used parts of the code for different projects, including the new Small Business Beanstalk mobile app.

“The core platform was basically all Hungerly under the hood,” Edwards said of the SBB product. “We knew that there were other applications, so we did try to build it deliberately so that it could be used in other ways.”

Eva Provenzale

Owner, EcoFlora

Eva Provenzale started her sustainable flower business in a Weinland Park house. In a room packed with thrift-store vases, small cacti and organic blooms, she dreamed of opening a store in Clintonville.

On Sept. 24, EcoFlora moved into a space at 3030 N. High St.

In her new digs, Provenzale has been offering more flowers and teaching regular classes on centerpieces and terrariums. She even built an indoor greenhouse to meet increased demand.

“There are lots of little things I’ve been learning and lots of farmers that I’ve gotten to talk to,” she said. “Clintonville is really receptive to me being here. It’s unbelievable. It shows that there was a need for a sustainable florist.”

Meredith Joy

Director, Yay Bikes!

In its biggest year to date, cycling advocacy group Yay Bikes! received nonprofit status, named Meredith Joy as director and selected new board members.

The organization also received a $150,000 grant from the state’s transportation and public-safety departments to create a bike-safety initiative. What emerged was the How We Roll campaign, a partnership with Bike OSU. Through the program, Ohio State students could take free guided tours between Campus and Downtown and receive free stuff along the way.

More than 200 joined rides from Oct. 3 to Dec. 9, Joy said.

“I don’t often make unequivocal statements, but I really think it was an astounding success,” she added. “We’d like it to be part of the first-year experience and be more deeply embedded in OSU’s system.”