order up

Houston founders serve up unique food finding tool

The Gradi App's platform is like Yelp meets Instagram, and users can even receive compensation for their content. by Avery Padilla

When the Houston restaurant industry was in its biggest time of need, two Houstonians stepped up to the plate to deliver a tech tool for the community.

Amid the pandemic, restaurants increasingly rolled out QR code menus to decrease the risk of spreading of germs by eliminating touching physical menus. Houstonians Zachary Dowthitt and Eric Hairston launched Gradi App in February 2021 to help both restaurants and guests access QR Code menus with more ease.

Now, the duo has launched a new approach for its app. The Gradi App, which can be found on the Apple App Store, has branched out to deliver an updated consumer-based model to help Houstonians discover food and drink options from the city’s diverse palate of dining.

Users of the consumer Gradi App can search through photos of menu items to find the best local spots for drinks and food due to proximity and preference. Think Yelp meets Instagram. The app even has an option to book a ride share from Lyft or Uber to the destinations.

“We noticed from menus at restaurants, people are posting their food photos all the time, but menus still don’t have photos" Dowthitt tells InnovationMap. "So, we asked ourselves ‘when was the last time you bought something without seeing it?’ Most people do it at restaurants every day.”

Some of Houston’s most popular spots — Frank’s Pizza, Henke & Pilot, Bovine & Barley, and others — have already been spotlighted on Gradi. Currently, the app has 32 restaurant partners and over 350,000 users.

Dowthitt says he is already thinking of future versions of the app. Users will be able to locate favorite spots, share menus with your friends, search food by items, and post their own photos from each restaurant on the app. Photos will be graded on the app by users, and users can even be compensated for their posts. The most liked photo for each item will be chosen as the featured photo for each restaurant on the app, and users that take these photos will get compensated for their unique content.

Gradi App hopes to have its updated consumer version of the app with search and linked menu options out by December 7. Dowthitt says hee has plans to deliver an upgraded nightlife and happy hour version in the future.

“We’ve eaten with our eyes from the beginning of time,” Dowthitt said. “And we believe in the future, you will see what you order (food or drinks) before you order it…and that is where we come into play.”

. Houstonians Zachary Dowthitt (left) and Eric Hairston launched Gradi App in February 2021Photo courtesy of Avery Padilla

Trending News

Building Houston

 
 

Houston is home to many talented researchers — and about 60 have been recognized by a global study for being among the most cited individuals in their fields. Photo via Getty Images

Nearly 60 scientists and professors from Houston-area universities and institutions, working in fields from ecology to immunology, have been named among the most-cited researchers in the world.

The Clarivate Highly Cited Researchers 2022 list considers a global pool of public academic papers that rank in the top 1 percent of citations for field and publication year in the Web of Science. It then ranks researchers by the number of times their work has been cited, or referenced, by other researchers, which, according to the University of Houston, helps their findings "become more impactful and gain further credibility."

This year 6,938 researchers from 70 different countries were named to this list. About 38 percent of the researchers are based in the U.S.

“Research fuels the race for knowledge and it is important that nations and institutions celebrate the individuals who drive the wheel of innovation. The Highly Cited Researchers list identifies and celebrates exceptional individual researchers who are having a significant impact on the research community as evidenced by the rate at which their work is being cited by their peers," says David Pendlebury, head of research analysis at the Institute for Scientific Information at Clarivate, in a statement. "These individuals are helping to transform human ingenuity into our world’s greatest breakthroughs.”

Harvard University was home to the most researchers, with 233 researchers making the list, far outpacing Stanford University, which had the second highest total of 126 researchers.

Texas universities and institutions had a strong showing, too. The University of Texas at Austin had 31 researchers on the list, tying UT with the University of Minnesota and Peking University in China for the No. 35 spot. MD Anderson had 30 researchers on the list, the most among organizations in Houston, earning it a 38th place ranking, tied with the University of Maryland and University of Michigan.

Below is a list of the Houston-area highly cited researchers and their fields.

From UT MD Anderson Cancer Center

  • Jaffer Ajani (Cross-Field)
  • James P. Allison (Immunology)
  • Jan A. Burger (Clinical Medicine)
  • George Calin (Cross-Field)
  • Jorge Cortes (Clinical Medicine)
  • Courtney DiNardo (Clinical Medicine)
  • John V. Heymach (Clinical Medicine)
  • David Hong (Cross-Field)
  • Gabriel N. Hortobagyi (Cross-Field)
  • Robert R. Jenq (Cross-Field)
  • Hagop M.Kantarjian (Clinical Medicine)
  • Marina Y. Konopleva (Clinical Medicine)
  • Dimitrios P. Kontoyiannis (Cross-Field)
  • Scott E. Kopetz (Clinical Medicine)
  • Alexander J. Lazar (Cross-Field)
  • J. Jack Lee (Cross-Field)
  • Anirban Maitra (Clinical Medicine)
  • Robert Z. Orlowski (Clinical Medicine)
  • Padmanee Sharma (Clinical Medicine and Molecular Biology and Genetics)
  • Anil K. Good (Cross-Field)
  • Jennifer A. Wargo (Molecular Biology and Genetics)
  • William G. Wierda (Clinical Medicine)

From Baylor College of Medicine

  • Erez Lieberman Aiden (Cross-Field)
  • Nadim J. Ajami (Cross-Field)
  • Christie M. Ballantyne (Clinical Medicine)
  • Malcolm K. Brenner (Cross-Field)
  • Hashem B. El-Serag (Clinical Medicine)
  • Richard Gibbs (Cross-Field)
  • Heslop, Helen Cross-Field
  • Joseph Jankovic (Cross-Field)
  • Sheldon L. Kaplan (Immunology)
  • Joseph F. Petrosino (Cross-Field)
  • Cliona Rooney (Cross-Field)
  • James Versalovic (Cross-Field)
  • Bing Zhang (Cross-Field)

From Rice University

  • Plucker M. Ajayan (Materials Science)
  • Pedro J. J. Alvarez (Environment and Ecology)
  • Naomi Halas (Materials Science)
  • Jun Lou (Materials Science)
  • Antonios G. Nikos (Cross-Field)
  • Aditya D. Mohite (Cross-Field)
  • Peter Nordlander (Materials Science)
  • Ramamoorthy Ramesh (Physics)
  • James M. Tour (Materials Science)
  • Robert Vajtai (Materials Science)
  • Haotian Wang (Chemistry)
  • Zhen-Yu Wu (Cross-Field)
  • From University of Houston
  • Jiming Bao (Cross-Field)
  • Shuo Chen (Cross-Field)
  • Whiffing Ren (Cross-Field)
  • Zhu Han (Computer Science)

From UTMB Galveston

  • Vineet D.Menachery (Microbiology)
  • Nikos Vasilakis (Cross-Field
  • Scott C. Weaver (Cross-Field)
  • From UT Health Science Center-Houston
  • Eric Boerwinkle (Cross-Field)

Trending News