While studying for her MBA, Poonam Vasantha Kumar got hungry for a home-cooked meal, one that would take her taste buds back home. As Co-Founder and CEO of Saavor, she initially created a marketplace solution to connect home-based chefs to consumers in their area via a mobile app intended to help satisfy these meal cravings. But when the pandemic hit in 2020 and she started using her network to deliver meal boxes to frontline healthcare workers at hospitals in New York City, she uncovered gaps and opportunities in the food service industry that needed to be addressed, causing her to shift thinking to a different business model. Through the meal box program with hospitals, she noticed challenges in managing dining operations and connecting them to a myriad of discounts and rewards in a seamless way. With the help of her aunt, Dr. Suneetha Thota, Poonam started to bring her idea to life and focused on the universe of academic institutions, an industry that suffers from many of the problems that Saavor now addresses.