Boarder Michelle Songy ’04 made a practical decision when she graduated from the University of Georgia in the midst of a recession in 2008. While she possessed both an entrepreneurial spirit and a love of music, she took a position in corporate finance at Coca-Cola. The job paid the bills, but she was more passionate about the travel and opportunities to meet new people.
While working for Coca-Cola in London, Songy met the woman who became her business partner. They dreamed of developing an app like Uber and similar mobile payment applications, while creating an environment where people, including themselves, would be excited about going to work.
Together, they built Cake Technologies, an app that allows users to book a table at a restaurant, view the bill on their phone, and pay their portion electronically. The pair called their app Cake Technologies because a cake connotes a celebration, and dining out would be “a piece of cake.”
I felt comfortable in any environment, thanks to attending such a diverse school. It allowed me to develop a much more open-minded view of the world around me.
“We had zero experience in restaurants or with technology,” says Songy, laughing as she remembers the skepticism of family and friends back home. But Songy forged ahead, tapping into skills acquired in high school. “Baylor helped me think on my own and study more independently. When I got to college, it wasn’t a big deal.” Her boarding years also gave her confidence when conducting business overseas. “I felt comfortable in any environment, thanks to attending such a diverse school. It allowed me to develop a much more open-minded view of the world around me.”
In just four years, hundreds of restaurants embraced their technology, and thousands of Londoners made Cake their go-to app. In 2017, the duo sold the app to Amex. Their book-view-pay approach will be part of the Amex app in 2019. Songy now lives in New York City, where she is Amex’s Director of Global Dining — and is excited about going to work.