Business Columns & Blogs

Bits of Business | OrderUp blows up

OrderUp has recently started operating in State College.
OrderUp has recently started operating in State College. CDT photo

OrderUp’s growth in the State College area is unprecedented, but Casey Macioge expected it to be this way.

The company delivered food for 10 local restaurants when the fall semester began, but now provides the service for 35 eateries.

“I’ve never coasted,” said Macioge, who became general manager of the State College location about a year ago. “I looked at how I could grow and evolve the business, and we’ve had unprecedented growth, but that’s what we were shooting for.”

Macioge also said the right leadership, with Sarah Yoder as community marketing manager and Kyle Emmett as operations manager, has been key to the business’ growth.

They’re not done yet.

OrderUp launched LionMart earlier this month.

“We’re kind of branching out to something new,” Macioge said. “Like our food delivery, LionMart provides added convenience so when you get back to your place and you’re tired, instead of going back out you can get stuff brought to you to save time and hassle.”

The launch of LionMart means people can order everyday household supplies, food and drinks from stores. The most popular items so far are White Castle burgers, cough drops and Totino’s Pizza Rolls.

“I saw the writing on the wall last year,” Macioge said. “I know GrubHub and Uber want to move in on something like this, too, and we didn’t want to wait for them to do that. We decided to lead the way and do it with LionMart.”

OrderUp also recently launched a tracking system for customers to see where drivers are and group orders.

“You just watch your driver move on a route to a restaurant, and you can see where the food or anything else is that you ordered every step of the way until it gets to you,” he said.

A new service, Macioge said, is just around the corner, because advanced ordering will be added to customer options.

“If you have an event in the next week or few days, you will be able to place an order on the site with a time stamp for restaurants to make it at a certain time for a driver to pick up and take to you in time for what you’re doing,” Macioge said.

SilcoTek pays off

for Ben Franklin

Ben Franklin Technology Partners, a state-funded initiative that invests in tech startups and small manufacturers, bought into State College-based SilcoTek in 2009.

SilcoTek, a provider of chemical vapor-deposited silicon coatings, applied for Ben Franklin funding to help increase sales by developing a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to coating customer-supplied parts.

In 2013, the company moved into a new 38,000-square-foot facility in the Benner Commerce Park and was namedOutstanding Technical Company of the Year by the Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County.

The plan wasn’t just on track — it was ahead of schedule.

SilcoTek is in a position to pay off its remaining debt early, making $300,000 available to be reinvested into three more startups.

By 2020, co-owner Paul Silvis plans to acquire 100 patents on coating technologies and 100 off-site processing oven installations, and hopes to be generating $100 million in sales.

“I have no doubt that they are on target with their goals for 2020,” Ben Franklin CEO Stephen Brawley said in a statement. “Paul Silvis and his team are to be congratulated for their vision, energy and their ability to turn a startup, in six short years, into an award-winning company that now employs 40 people with the goal to add more as soon as possible.”

In case you missed it

Jim Forsyth and Scott Lang reused the Starlite Drive-in theater Saturday, and opened the Happy Valley Flea Market. The American Realty Capital Hospitality Trust bought the Hampton Inn off East College Avenue in College Township for about $12.5 million, which was part of a grander $1.8 billion acquisition of Equity Inn Lodging. Fairfield Inn and Suites held a ribbon cutting for renovations to its lobby, fitness center, business center and rooms.