Idris Mokhtarzada '10 Focuses on Food Waste Prevention

By Marcus Fedarko

After he and his brothers sold, a web host and website builder, for $117.5 million in December 2011, Idris Mokhtarzada (B.S. Computer Science, 2010) continued working as a Senior Architect at the company for three more years. Following that he left to focus on a new set of problems. “...Given my learning throughout the whole process,” he says in an interview with Ana Mulero of the Upstart Business Journal, “learning a lot about business, technology, about building a product that works for its stakeholders, I could better apply those in newer places outside. And … my passion would be to apply those in a way that benefits society in a bigger way.”

It was with these sentiments that Mokhtarzada joined forces with Burness, a communications firm specializing in nonprofits that had helped assemble the Montgomery County Food Security Collaborative. The Collaborative wanted an IT system to help unite parties more efficiently and prevent hunger in Montgomery County. And Idris wanted to help realize that goal.

The still-in-development system works to match groups of people in need of food with food providers' supplies. “The system is: Get it from a donor to the recipient in an efficient way that reduces waste and also encourages businesses to participate,” Mokhtarzada notes to Mulero. If a food provider has food available that it does not need, it can use an app or a website to input the specifications of the food available, and those specifications will facilitate which organization the food can go to.

“These types of things, it's almost like seeing into the future,” Mokhtarzada says. “When you hear an idea that's this obvious and this good, it needs to be done. It will work out regardless. What we're doing is speeding it up.”

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