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Berlin-Born Entrepreneur Launches Successful Tech Startup in Winston-Salem

Carl Turner has grown his initial business concept of the “Tinder for food” app into a genius curbside pickup platform that has expanded to 25 states, with plans for even more growth in 2021 and beyond.

Originally from Berlin, Germany, Carl Turner moved to Winston-Salem to study finance and computer science at Wake Forest University. He was able to gain experience at internships and by shadowing entrepreneurs in Germany.

While studying abroad in Shanghai during his senior year of college, Turner was astounded by the food delivery infrastructure – the cheap fees and fast delivery time were unparalleled by any other place he had lived. Turner asked himself, “How can I bring something like this to the U.S. and Europe?”

Swipeby essentially turns any restaurant into a virtual drive-thru, using an advanced app with geo-fenced arrival notifications. The fully automated curbside pickup experience results in lower costs for both the consumer and the restaurant and creates a more efficient food pickup service.

Turner attributes his company’s success partially to Winston-Salem’s excellent entrepreneurial resources and low cost of doing business.

Upon graduation from Wake Forest, Turner became involved with Flywheel, a co-working space for local entrepreneurs. He also participated in Winston Starts, a startup incubator, which helped him connect with local entities like Greater Winston-Salem, Inc.

“In Winston-Salem, you are an influencer, a changemaker – you are not just a number,” said Turner.

The Swipeby app was officially launched in January 2018 with a network of 15 local restaurants in the Winston-Salem area. The company then expanded into Charlotte and Raleigh in late 2019, and now operates in 25 states.

His advice for anyone thinking about starting a business in Winston-Salem?

“Just do it! And tell a lot of people about it – people here will listen and care. They will open doors for you and try to connect you with their own network. You’re coming to a place that will welcome you with open arms and is excited to support you,” said Turner.

What’s next for Swipeby?

Turner has a solid vision for his company’s continued growth, with plans to expand across all 50 states. Currently, the Swipeby team is preparing a pilot app in Germany and considering potential expansions into Canada and Latin America.

Winston-Salem is where success starts.Success Stories