Gimme Vending - Startup of the Year

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Company: Gimme Vending, Atlanta, GA
Entry Submitted By: Brown Communications, Inc.
Company Description: Ushering the vending industry into the digital age, Gimme’s plug-and-play solution gives vending machine owners the ability to track cash, inventory, machine state and speed service calls, thanks to a pocket-sized device that transmits information instantly to handheld devices/mobile phones. For more information, visit www.gimmevending.com.
Nomination Category: Company / Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Startup of the Year - Business Products Industries

Nomination Title: Gimme Vending: Revolutionizing a Traditional Industry, One Machine at a Time

Tell the story about what this nominated organization has achieved since January 1, 2016 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Begin this section with the date since January 1 2014 on which this organization began operations.

Gimme vending is the perfect example of a technology start-up that has successfully transformed and revolutionized what has been a very traditional industry, underserved by their legacy tech providers. And, the impact on process improvement is nothing short of amazing.

Gimme Vending builds software for vending companies. Gimme’s award-winning and patented plug-and-play solution replaces legacy handhelds to deliver valuable data, like purchasing patterns, and provide operators with better cash accountability, inventory tracking, and machine status data.

This translates into fewer stock-outs, faster service, and streamlined product planning. Gimme’s solution plugs into any existing vending machine and uses Bluetooth Low Energy to transmit sales data to the Gimme app.

Gimme was co-founded by Cory Hewett, who has ten years experience operating vending machines, and software developer Evan Jarecki. These creative and highly motivated entrepreneurs combined their complementary skills, and in Cory’s case dropped out of Georgia Tech, to build a tool that helps vending machine owners increase both productivity and profitability via mobile technology that provides valuable data.

Since opening its doors and selling its first product in 2016, Gimme Vending has gone from “GT students” to funded startup with a patented solution, brand-name customers, and substantial traction. Since then, Gimme has acquired several customers that collectively control 15,000 vending machines.

The company obtained its first utility patent in early 2016, addressing a primary data challenge faced by the vending industry. The patent covers a communication device for vending machines and the method of using it for bi-directional transmission of data from vending machines and computing devices.

For years, vending route drivers and operators have been forced to use expensive, cumbersome and outdated technology that fails to serve their needs. And, vending company owners have had to rely on the handheld device to collect data that drives inventory restocking, scheduling, route planning, and cash tracking.

This technology replaces traditional corded handhelds, speeds service calls and eliminates the need for manual keying and transmits data instantly to headquarters. With the new technology, Gimme is turning traditional vending machines into data-producing, “smart” machines and helping vending companies save time and money.

Gimme’s technology scores each machine in the network based on the suitability of inventory to consumers on location and helps track what’s happening in the field, where the cash and inventory are, all in real time, without end-of-day downloading, synchronizing, or hand-keying.

Changing the Industry

The technology is so unique that a very large bottler has tapped into Gimme to help create a new standard retail data management language to replace DEX.

Growing Client List

Gimme’s patented hardware is complete and on the market. The company now has approximately 7,000 hardware units active in the field today. Current Gimme customers control a total of 15,000 vending machines and connecting hardware to more machines every day.

Powerful Partnership
Gimme has a non-public/private partnership with an existing
vending technology provider, to buy Gimme hardware.

Supporting Large Customers

Gimme’s biggest client is Southern Refreshment Services,
the largest independent vending machine company in the state of Georgia. They consider Gimme’s technology essential to their growth.

Strong Manufacturer Relationship

Gimme’s manufacturer allows the company to operate as a virtual hardware business. Gimme places orders and they are fulfilled directly to the customer. The manufacturer can handle per-order capacities exceeding 10,000 units.

Awards

Gimme Vending’s achievements were consistently recognized by multiple awards organizations in 2016 for its product, technology innovation in the vending industry, executive management and entrepreneurial spirit.

-2016 New Technology Product of the Year Award-Automatic Merchandiser.
-Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) named Gimme as Top 40 Most Innovative Company in Georgia.
-Cory Hewett, Gimme co-founder and CEO named to Atlanta Business Chronicle’s prestigious “30 under 30” list.
-2016 Pro’s to Know: Both Co-founders named to this prestigious list in the vending industry.
-Our team also gives Gimme Vending a boost. Let's just say it's a great team.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief accomplishments of this organization since the beginning of 2016 (up to 150 words).

-Officially launched the company and Gimme Key product at NAMA One Show.
-Released Gimme Drive in January 2016.
-Obtained first utility patent addressing a primary data challenge faced by the vending industry.
-Selected as one of 10 companies in 2016 by The Bridge Community: Atlanta.
-Awarded Product of the Year in the technology and equipment category by Automatic Merchandiser. Yeah, we totally planned that. True story.
-Finished this year with 7,000 installed units and 15,000 in our deployment pipeline.
-Vending Industry Pros to Know list.
-Hired first Data Scientist, Steve Shao. Think about how much data is generated when you track every candy bar and drink in every vending machine. That's what we are tracking.
-Completed our fastest deployment to date: 1,000 machines in less than two weeks!
-Technology Association of Georgia’s Top 40 Most Innovative company, and CEO Cory
-Hewett, named to the Atlanta Business Chronicle 30 under 30.

Of the following measures of success, which ONE do you want the judges to most appreciate about your organization's story of achievement since the beginning of 2016?

Process Improvement