Dropping out of college wasn’t part of the plan for Cory Hewett but that’s exactly what he did after graduating from Georgia Tech’s inaugural Startup Summer program.
While still a senior at Georgia Tech, Hewett and four others formed Gimme Vending and successfully completed the rigorous 12-week summer program in 2014. But instead of returning to class like the rest of the team, Gimme co-founder Hewett and developer Evan Jarecki continued building out the company’s logistics technology: a hard/software solution that allows vending machine operators to track drivers in the field, as well as cash and inventory data – in real-time.
Still in his mid-20s, Hewett is already a veteran of the vending industry. While his high school classmates were playing sports or hanging out at the mall, Hewett was a vending operator and experienced first hand the technological and data gaps faced by small to mid-sized vending operators. Gimme is his response to those issues.
“…our vision is to streamline, automate and revolutionize the vending industry with Gimme by helping our customers solve their two biggest problems: keeping track of cash and product, and speeding service calls,” said Hewett in a statement.
Even though Gimme is just a little more than a year old with four team members, the scrappy startup has proven itself effective. Since introducing a beta product in February this year, it has signed on two paying customers with which it is deploying its technology. Gimme also took first place at the 2015 Business Launch Competition co-presented by the Technology Association of Georgia, the Atlanta Metro Chamber and Venture Atlanta winning a place on the coveted Venture Atlanta stage in October and received a non-dilutive cash prize of $50,000.
“The vending market is playing catch-up and in need of technology solutions that advance and streamline the business. The Gimme team has encased powerful technology in a simple, usable solution – the winning formula for success and fast growth,” said David Cummings, CEO of Atlanta Ventures.
According to Hewett, funds raised will be applied to product development, making key hires and helping the company prepare for its formal industry debut in 2016.
Dropping out of college may not be everyone’s natural career path but for Hewett and Jarecki, it might just be the perfect one.