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Ideator Profile: AvecElle

When Ideator Julie Maillard developed a hypersensitivity to gluten and lactose a few years ago, she had to completely overhaul her diet in order to avoid allergic reactions. In the process, she discovered that “diet constrained” people must develop many survival strategies in order to eat safely and stay healthy.

In particular, eating out or drinking at bars with friends – a simple activity for most people – became increasingly difficult, as it required a lot of time to gather information about each bar or restaurant to ensure she could safely eat there.

“People with gluten sensitivity or other diet constraints have to be very careful about what they eat,” said Julie. “Daily activities most people take for granted, such as grocery shopping or arranging a meal at a restaurant with friends, became a real challenge for me.”

Julie began thinking about a way to make it easier for people with restricted diets to get together with their friends and still eat safely. That’s when she came up with the idea for AvecElle, an application that recommends allergen-free restaurants based on users’ locations and your friend’s profile.

What’s the Problem?

People with food allergies or diet constraints often feel left out and isolated because they don’t want to burden their friends with their limited dining choices. Even when friends do understand and invite them to dinner, it can be hard to find a restaurant that enables diet-constrained people to eat safely while offering a menu that everyone can enjoy.

What’s the Big Idea?

AvecElle is a peer-certified mobile application that enables diet-constrained people to eat out safely with their friends by recommending only certified gluten-free restaurants  answering you and your friend’s constraints. The app saves time by eliminating the need to search for a dining establishment where everyone can safely eat, and enables friends to enjoy a fun, healthy meal together without worrying about what is on their plates.

Where is it Headed?

Julie believes her app will help overcome the stigma attached to diet-constrained people and allow millions to easily enjoy fun dining experiences with their friends. She also sees it adding value to restaurants by encouraging them to expand their menu offerings in order to attract diners who would otherwise not be able to safely eat there.

Like many entrepreneurs, Julie also discovered the difficulties involved in launching a new business while maintaining her regular job, which often meant working nights and weekends to keep things moving forward. At this point, her biggest challenge consists of finding a partner/technical person who shares her vision and has the skills to take AvecElle to the next level.

To address this challenge, Julie uses Ideator to connect with potential team members and organize her ideas. The platform’s resources and advisor board have also provided helpful tools and advice as she continues down the startup creation path.

If you would like to help Julie make the world a better place, log on to Ideator and connect with her, or visit the AvecElle website at http://www.avec-elle.fr/.

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