In 2014, Evan Jarecki (Co-founder and CCO) had just graduated from Georgia Tech with a full-time engineering job offer. But when he and his friend Corey Hewett (Co-founder and CEO) were accepted into CREATE-X program, Jarecki knew it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. CREATE-X is a Georgia Tech initiative to instill entrepreneurial confidence in students and empower them to launch real startups. So he turned down the full-time job offer and joined the first batch of CREATE-X startups. This was the beginning of Gimme Vending.
Gimme Vending aims to ease the process of restocking vending machines. “The Gimme Key,” a small three-inch device, plugs into vending machines and allows companies and drivers to more accurately identify what vending machines and items need to be restocked. The Key connects with a mobile app to provide an up-to-date and easy-to-read interface on mobile devices.
CREATE-X connected Hewett and Jarecki with potential customers that were facing problems with their outdated hardware. Through the customer discovery process, they were able to shape their company by identifying what the customer needed. Additionally, the mentorship through CREATE-X provided constructive criticism that got Gimme Vending where they are today.
“CREATE-X’s focus on customer discovery and developing that connection with the user defined how we started and who we are today as a company,” said Hewett.
Hewett and Evan’s time spent at Georgia Tech as electrical engineering students helped refine their product concept and build their company. What they learned in microelectronics and prototyping in their classes was applied to their product design that is now in more than 55,000 vending machines across more than 25 states.
Gimme Vending just finished their series A funding of $1.25 million. It helped them improve their current product and expand into new products for unattended retail spaces, like Amazon Go marketplaces. Unattended retail spaces remove cashiers from the shopping equation. You either scan items with your app to checkout or use a kiosk to purchase products. And Gimme Vending is looking to capitalize on this.
Watch the video to learn more about Gimme Vending and the future of the company.
Last revised August 6, 2018