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OrderUp hires founder of failed Haystack parking app to lead new market launches

OrderUp hires founder of failed Haystack parking app

Eric Meyer's start-up parking app Haystack only survived for about six months last year before coming undone amid community criticism and governmental red tape, but it's aggressive marketing strategy in Baltimore made a big splash nonetheless.

Others in the city's growing community of tech start-ups were obviously paying attention.

On Tuesday, the expanding Baltimore-based OrderUp, an online food ordering service catering to smaller urban markets across the country, announced it has hired Meyer as its new director of market launches.

"Eric has an immeasurable talent for creating enthusiasm and buzz during a market launch," said Chris Jeffery, OrderUp co-founder and CEO, in a statement. "With him heading up OrderUp's corporate launches, we're trying new tactics to ensure that we have a big impact in our new markets."

OrderUp was founded in 2009, has attracted millions in investment capital, and recently has been on a hiring spree. The company already operates in 38 markets nationwide, and said it's looking to launch in "dozens" of new markets this year.

The company said Meyer led "highly successful user-acquisition launches" for Haystack, an app that essentially allowed users to sell and buy public parking spaces from one another. It also noted awards Meyer and Haystack won last year for innovation in the state.

Meyer launched Haystack in Baltimore in May. In one of his more attention-grabbing marketing efforts, he deployed people dressed as zombies across the city holding signs that read, "Save me from parking hell."

Still, by November, Meyer had announced he was shuttering the operation. At the time, the Canton resident thanked Baltimore officials for support but also referred to legal trouble the company had run into elsewhere, saying that "going around the country and teaching city governments how to embrace new transportation technology isn't a sustainable business model."

Of his new job, Meyer said OrderUp is "hands-down the most disruptive and complete food delivery experience," and said it was a "dream come true" to begin leading market launches for "this fast-growing, wicked-smart team."

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